Thursday, December 05, 2019

Congress Passes Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

On Tuesday, Congress gave final passage to S.178, the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019 (full text). In part, the bill finds that:
The Government of the People’s Republic of China has a long history of repressing approximately 13,000,000 Turkic, moderate Sunni Muslims, particularly Uyghurs, in the nominally autonomous Xinjiang region. These actions are in contravention of international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The bill goes on to express the sense of Congress that, among other steps:
the President should condemn abuses against Turkic Muslims by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang and call on Chinese President Xi Jinping to recognize the profound abuse and likely lasting damage of China’s current policies, and immediately close the “political reeducation” camps, lift all restrictions on and ensure respect for internationally guaranteed human rights across the region, and allow for reestablishment of contact between those inside and outside China;....
the Secretary of State should fully implement the provisions of the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act ... and consider strategically employing sanctions and other tools under the International Religious Freedom Act....
The bill will now go to the President for his signature.