Sending Office: Honorable Christopher H. Smith
Sent By:
Will.Green@mail.house.gov

Cosponsors: Pelosi, McCaul, Sherman, Chabot, Connolly, Gallagher, Kaptur,
Meadows, Kennedy, Pingree, Cohen, Wilson, Sires, Wagner, Cohen, McGovern, Schakowsky, Krishnamoorthi, Holmes Norton, Beyer, Dingell, Wexton, Schakowsky, Watson Coleman, Cicilline, Tlaib, Lynch, Kind, Raskin, Johnson, Doggett, Haaland,
Omar, Khanna, Mast, Cooper, Schiff, Cartwright, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Blumenauer, Lofgren

H.R. 649, The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

The Chinese government is detaining over one million Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims in “political reeducation camps.”  Despite mounting evidence of mass internment, torture, mistreatment and forced labor, the Chinese government has dissembled and dismissed
questions from the international community.  They have denied detention of the relatives of Uyghurs who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, including Radio Free Asia employees, in order to intimidate and silence their advocacy.     

The Chinese government is engaged in a repugnant campaign to crush religious identity and cultural freedom and create a massive hi-tech police state were DNA collection, facial recognition cameras, and pervasive checkpoints ensure control of every aspect
of daily lives.     

The Washington Post editors
said passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act was “vitally important” to hold accountable Chinese officials responsible for the indoctrination and mass internment of over one million ethnic Uyghurs and other predominately Muslim ethnic minorities.  

The Administration and the international community cannot be silent in response to this staggering humanitarian crisis and efforts to intimidate and silence U.S. citizens.    

Among other actions, this legislation:

  • Condemns human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, including the arbitrary detention of up to one million Uyghurs, and calls on the Administration to use Global Magnitsky sanctions and the Commerce Department’s “Entity List” to sanction
    Chinese officials responsible for abuses and control the exports of Chinese businesses profiting from the mass surveillance and internment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang;
  • Calls on the Secretary of State to create a special position at the State Department—the United States Special Coordinator for Xinjiang—to coordinate the U.S. response to abuses in the region, and to consider applicable targeted sanctions for individual
    human rights abusers in the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party, and state security apparatus;
  • Calls for a regional security assessment by the Director of National intelligence to issue an assessment of the regional security threat posed by the crackdown on Uyghurs and the transfer and development of technology facilitating surveillance and mass
    internment.  The report will also include a list of Chinese companies involved in the construction and operation of the camps.
  • Calls for an FBI report on efforts to provide information to and protect U.S. citizens from Chinese government harassment and intimidation on American soil.
  • Calls on the CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media to report on efforts to intimidate Uyghur language Radio Free Asia (RFA) employees and create a strategy to counter Chinese government disinformation and propaganda efforts targeting Uyghur communities
    globally.
  • Calls on the Secretary of State to submit an interagency report assessing the number of persons detained in re-education camps, the conditions in those camps, the number of those arbitrarily detained, and repressive surveillance methods used by authorities
    in the region.

Companion legislation (S. 178) was introduced in the Senate by a bipartisan group of 18 Senators led by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

If you have any questions about the legislation, or to cosponsor, please contact Lina Dakheel (5-9819) with Rep. Tom Suozzi or Will Green (5-3765) with Rep. Chris Smith.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence

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