Category: News

Senator Marco Rubio introduces “Uyghur Policy Act”

April 8, 2022

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on April 7th, 2022, introduced the Uyghur Policy Act of 2021.

This bill addresses the reported human rights abuses of the Uyghur Muslim ethnic minority by the Chinese Communist Government. It directs the U.S. Government to take certain actions

According to the bill, the Communist Chinese government launched a “campaign” to stop violent extremism after “unrest” in the region of Xinjiang in 2014. Xinjiang is the home of the Uyghur Muslims. The bill stated that the Chinese government has used this program to committ human rights violations against the Uyghurs. The bill also stated that China has made use of its government to committ horrible acts against the Uyghurs, including torture. Uyghurs that have been living outside of China as citizens of other countries or perminant residents, have been basically stalked by the Communist Chinese government, according to Senator Rubio’s bill. The CCP has also abducted family members of Uyghurs living outside of China. This has been done to force them to either come back to China or stop talking out about the human rights abuses, according to the bill.

The Communist Chinese government has also made use of “reeducation camps” for the Uyghurs. The bill estimates that up to 1,000,000+ Uyghurs have been through reeducation camps.

It’s worth noting that in the bill, both Secretary of State Antony Blinken (D) and former Secretary of State under former President Donald J. Trump, Mike Pompeo (R), have both acknowledged the “genocide and crimes against humanity” the Communist Chinese government has committed against the Uyghurs.

The bill is calling for a number of things including:

  • The Communist Chinese government to be more transparent to the press, U.S. Congressional members, their staff and other Congressional officials, including the Congressional-Executive Commis3 sion on the People’s Republic of China and the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission

  • Maintain the “distinct ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic identity of the Uyghurs” and other ethnic and religious groups in Xianjing

  • Praise Turkey, Albania and Germany, along with other countries, that have provided refuge for Uyghurs who have been living in “exile.”

  • Push countries with large Muslim populations to show concern for the “plight” of the Uyghurs.

The bill, if passed, would have the Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield advocate for Uyghurs and others who have been “persecuted” by the Communist Chinese government. Secretary Satterfield would be required to “consult” with members of the Uyghur community around the world to help select the people she would be advocating with.

The U.S. Secretary of State will be required to work with the CEO of the United Staets Agency for Global Media to distribute information to “Muslim majority countries” on the human rights violations and religious restrictions the Uyghur Muslims and others have faced from the Communist Chinese government.

A strategy will be required from the Secretary of States office within 180 of the bill’s enactment, to make a strategy on how the U.S. government, both from its own efforts and partnership with other countries, get the closure of detention camps holding the Uyghurs and their “unconditional” release from custody. This would also include those that are also imprisioned for their “ethinic, cultural, religious and linguistic identities” along with political and religious dissidents.

The United States would be required to work with the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights to get access to the detention camps and “political reeducation camps” through “independent international organizations” and the UN “Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.” These will work to provide a “comprehensive assment of the human rights situation” in Xianjing.

The Secretary of State’s office will be required to make training available for its Foreigen Service officers to speak the Uyghur language. The Secretary of State’s office will be required to do what they can to have someone who can speak the Uyghur language stationed at consular missions in the People’s Republic of China, Turkey and other countries that have Uyghurs residing in their country.

The U.S. Secretary of State and UN Permanent Representative to the United States will be required to oppose any efforts to prevent discussion at the United Nations and related bodies on the situation in Xianjing of the Uyghurs. The legislation also calls for the United Nations to support “the appointment of a special rapporteur or working group for the XUAR;” this would be to monitor the abuses in Xianjing and make the reports “available to the High Commissioner for Refugees, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the General Assembly, and other United Nations bodies.”

Representatives Young Kim (R-CA) and Ami Brea (D-CA) introduced a companion bill H.R.4785 on July 29th, 2021. The bill currently has 67 Co-Sponsors, 37 Republicans and 30 Democrats.

Senator Rubio said in a Press Release “The CCP is carrying out a disgusting campaign of genocide and human rights abuses committed against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. The United States cannot be silent in the face of such horrific abuse. I’m proud to introduce legislation to increase awareness and advocacy for Uyghurs, and I urge my colleagues to quickly pass this bill.”

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