PRESS RELEASE: WUC Urges International Community to Join in Imposing Targeted Sanctions and Restrictions
The World Uyghur Congress welcomes the first concrete measures by a national government to address ongoing crimes against humanity in East Turkistan after the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State passed a series of sanctions and restrictions on Chinese companies, government entities and individuals.
Moreover, the WUC urges the rest of the international community to implement similar restrictions to hold the Chinese government accountable.
On October 7, 2019, the U.S. Commerce Department announced its decision to place 28 Chinese companies and government agencies on its ‘Entity List’ for complicity in human rights violations against Uyghurs in East Turkistan. The Entity List functions as a trade blacklist and bars companies or other entities from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without US government approval.
“The sanctions and restrictions mark the first time that the Chinese government, companies and individuals have been held directly responsible for the crimes against humanity perpetrated against Uyghurs,” said WUC President Dolkun Isa. “We are grateful to the U.S. government, but we would like to see a broader response from the rest of the world who should be likewise concerned with the crisis and impose similar restrictions.”
Those added to the list include Hikvision and Dahua, who designed and implemented the security and surveillance systems installed in the internment camps and throughout the rest of the region. The blacklisted entities also includes local and regional security bureaus who have implemented the CCP’s repressive policies.
Their addition to the Entity List will prevent U.S. companies from providing them with any resources or technology, which they had used in the past to carry our repressive policies against Uyghurs. These sanctions are a significant step to ensuring justice and accountability in response to the crisis.
The next day, on October 8, 2019, a second measure was announced by the U.S. State Department which imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government officials responsible for the internment camp system and for perpetrating related human rights violations against Uyghurs. The decision was announced in a press release, which also called on the Chinese government to immediately release all those in arbitrary detention.
The WUC strongly endorses both of these important measures and expresses its gratitude to those responsible. These two complementary initiatives mark the first time the Chinese government and the entities and individuals responsible for crimes against humanity have had to face real and meaningful consequences.
China’s actions require a robust response from the international community. Before the decision to implement these measures, over one million Uyghurs had been detained in internment camps for more than two years, without incurring any meaningful repercussions.
Urgent action must be taken to push for the internment camps to be closed and for the Chinese government’s repressive policies to be stopped. These measures constitute an important first step to effectively addressing this crisis, but more urgent action is still required to close the camps and ease the Uyghur people’s suffering.