PRESS RELEASE: World Uyghur Congress Welcomes Passage of UIGHUR Act of 2019
The World Uyghur Congress appreciates the passage of the UIGHUR Act of 2019 by the US House of Representatives this week and calls on the international community to take comparable steps to focus additional attention on the issue, appoint representatives tasked with monitoring the situation, enact targeted sanctions, and raise the issue strongly in all appropriate fora.
The Bill, once signed into law, obligates the US administration to provide Congress a list of Chinese officials deemed responsible for serious human rights violations for possible sanction, impose restrictions on export of sensitive technology that may enable further abuses in the Uyghur region, and requires US companies to ensure they are not using forced labour, among other things.
WUC President Dolkun said in response, “We are certainly encouraged by the passage of the Bill and look forward to greater scrutiny by American authorities.” Isa continued, “It will, however, be critical that we now hear more and more diverse voices that are vocal on the situation—from states that have so far remained silent to Islamic organizations, the business community, and from other sectors of civil society.”
The Bill comes on the heels of the approval of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act on September 11 by the Senate as well as the decision in October by the US Commerce Department to add 28 Chinese organizations—including Hikvision and Dahua as well as the public security bureau for the Uyghur region—to its entity list, blocking them from buying American products. The Senate will now have to pass an amended Bill to be sent to the President for approval.
Passage of the Bill sends a strong and clear message to the Chinese government that if there is no change in behaviour, there will be real consequences in response. It also sets a useful example for the rest of the world to follow suit in response to China’s continued human rights abuses that amount to cultural genocide.
The WUC will continue to build on international efforts to impose a real cost on the Chinese government for such appalling abuses and urges all other like-minded governments to take steps of their own in response.