This bill — the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 — would aim to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations & persecution of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic Turkic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. It would require federal agencies to produce reports related to the persecution in Xinjiang (described in greater detail below), block exports of technologies that could further that persecution, consider imposing sanctions on officials & entities involved, and pressure the Chinese government to stop the repression through various diplomatic efforts.
The bill would list several findings about the persecution of the 13 million Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, including that:
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has estimated that roughly 1 million ethnic or religious minorities are being arbitrarily detained in “political reeducation” camps at the direction of senior Chinese Communist Party officials.
Detainees are subject to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, denial of religious, cultural, and linguistic freedoms and must demonstrate sufficient political loyalty to be released.
The arbitrary detention of persons based on their religious or ethnic background, without due process or credible individualized allegations of wrongdoing are a severe violation of international norms and standards — including those related to human rights & the prevention of torture which China is a party to.
Uyghurs & ethnic Kazakhs who’ve obtained permanent residence or citizenship in other countries have been threatened & harassed by Chinese officials. At least five journalists working for Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur service have detailed abuses against their families in Xinjiang because of their work exposing the Chinese Communist Party’s abusive practices.
- The internment of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in internment camps has ended;
- All political prisoners are released;
- The use of mass surveillance and predictive policing to discriminate against & violate the human rights of members of specific ethnic groups has ceased and isn't evident in other parts of China; and
- The Chinese government has ended the particularly severe restrictions of religious & cultural practice in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
The bill would urge the president to condemn these abuses, encourage China to close the internment camps & ensure human rights, and allow people inside the People’s Republic of China to reestablish contact with friends, loved ones, and associates outside the country.
The bill would require the State Dept. to work with U.S. allies & partners through multilateral institutions & the international community more broadly to condemn the persecution in Xinjiang. The executive branch would also be encouraged to consider levying sanctions against senior Chinese officials in the Xinjiang region.
U.S. companies & individuals operating in Xinjiang would be required to certify in their public or financial filings that their commercial activities aren’t contributing to human rights violations in Xinjiang or elsewhere in China, and that their supply chains aren’t compromised by forced labor.
Several reports regarding various aspects of China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang & the U.S. would be required by this bill, including reports about:
The imposition of financial & travel sanctions on foreign persons, including Chinese Communist Party officials, for human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
Human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, including an assessment of the number of people detained in internment camps & forced labor camps; a description of conditions in the camp and the use of torture & other human rights abuses; the Chinese Communist Party’s methods used to “reeducate” detainees & government agencies involved with such reeducation; an assessment of mass surveillance by the CCP; the CCP’s efforts to forcibly return ethnic minorities to China; and U.S. diplomatic efforts with allies & partners to address human rights violations & protect asylum seekers.
Efforts to protect U.S. citizens & residents, including ethnic Uyghurs & Chinese nationals legally studying or working in the U.S., who’ve experienced harassment or intimidation within the U.S. by officials or agents of the Chinese government.
Security & economic implications of repression in the Xinjiang region, including its acquisition & development of internment & mass surveillance technologies, and the threats those technologies pose to the U.S.
Intelligence methods (detailed in a classified report to Congress) used to assess the scope & scale of the CCP’s use of mass detention & forced labor to persecute Uyghurs & ethnic minorities; gross human rights violations perpetrated in internment camps; and other CCP policies in Xinjiang that constitute gross violations of human rights.