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CAIR Welcomes U.S. Formal Recognition of China Committing ‘Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity’ Against Uyghur Muslims, Other Turkic Minorities

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/31/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the Biden-Harris administration’s first formal United States’ recognition that the government of China is committing “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uyghur Muslim and other Turkic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

That recognition came yesterday in the new U.S. State Department “2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.” 

CLICK HERE: Urge Your Members of Congress to Support the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

SEE: U.S. State Department 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China (Includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet) – United States Department of State

Also yesterday, CAIR and Free Uyghur Now hosted the “Call It Genocide” Uyghur Muslim rights rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., urging the U.S. government to formally recognize China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic minorities. 

Video: CAIR Co-Sponsors #CallItGenocide Uyghur Muslim Rights Rally at Chinese Embassy in D.C.

Full Rally Video: #CallItGenocide Uyghur Muslim Rights Rally at Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Video: CAIR Director Nihad Awad Speaks at #CallItGenocide Uyghur Rights Rally at China Embassy in DC

In a statement responding to the State Department recognition of China’s genocide, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: 

“CAIR welcomes our government’s formal recognition of China’s violent and criminal campaign of genocide targeting Uyghur Muslim and other Turkic minorities. 

“Now that the Biden administration has recognized that China is committing genocide, our nation must take every possible action to stand against these crimes against humanity. The United States must ramp up its sanctions against China and revoke the visas for travel to the United States of all Chinese officials linked to the genocide. 

“We must also hold American and international corporations that do business in China and the Xinjiang region accountable. That is why CAIR continues to call on Congress to adopt the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. 

“There must not be any more delay in passing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Congress needs to immediately pass this act and President Biden must sign it into law. 

“The American Muslim community will continue to stand in solidarity with our Uyghur Muslim and Turkic brother and sisters.” 


Released on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices section on China, states in part: 

“Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes were continuing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of China’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. 

“Significant human rights issues [in China] included: arbitrary or unlawful killings by the government; forced disappearances by the government; torture by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention conditions; arbitrary detention by the government, including the mass detention of more than one million Uyghurs and other members of predominantly Muslim minority groups in extrajudicial internment camps and an additional two million subjected to daytime-only “re-education” training. . .” 

Last week, CAIR welcomed coordinated sanctions by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union (EU) targeting China for its genocidal campaign against Uyghur Muslims. Chinese officials were sanctioned for “serious human rights abuses” against Uyghur Muslims. 

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Coordinated Sanctions by US, UK, Canada and EU Allies Over China’s Genocide Targeting Uyghur Muslims 

Earlier in the month, CAIR responded to an independent report detailing China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims by calling on Congress to quickly pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.Res.129/S.65).  

SEE: CAIR Responds to Independent Report Re-Confirming China’s Xinjiang Genocide with Call for Congress to Pass Uyghur Forced Labor Act 

In February, CAIR called for “immediate and concrete” action by the Biden administration and the international community following a BBC report on mass rape, sexual abuse and torture in Uyghur concentration camps in China’s Xinjiang province.    

SEE: CAIR Calls for ‘Immediate and Concrete’ Action by Biden Administration and International Community After BBC Report on China’s Systematic Rape of Uyghur Women 

In January, CAIR praised then President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee for refunding a $500 donation from former California U.S. Senator Barbra Boxer, who recently registered as a foreign agent due to her lobbying work on behalf of a Chinese firm that has allegedly helped China imprison hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps.   

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Biden Inaugural Committee Rejection of Former Sen. Boxer’s Donation, Citing Her Links to China’s Oppression of Uyghur Muslims 

In December, CAIR join the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), Free Uyghur Now, and other global allies in a virtual press conference calling on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to join the international community in standing with Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic ethnic minorities to demand accountability for China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang.

SEE: CAIR to Join U.S. Muslim Coalition in Questioning OIC’s Silence on China’s Abuses of Uyghur, Turkic Muslims 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.      

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.    


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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