FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2019
USCIRF Welcomes House Passage of the Uighur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response Act of 2019, Urges Swift Passage in the Senate
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today commended the House of Representatives for passing an amended version of the Uighur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response Act of 2019 (S.178). The bill, passed by unanimous consent by the Senate in September, will require the administration to impose sanctions on individual Chinese officials responsible for the persecution of Uighur and other Muslims.
“This bill is a great step forward in addressing one of the worst violations of religious freedom in the 21st century,” said USCIRF Commissioner Gary Bauer. “My fellow commissioners and I urge the Senate to swiftly pass the amended version and for President Trump to sign the bill so his administration can quickly implement all of its provisions.”
“I want to commend Representatives Smith, McGovern and Sherman and Senators Rubio and Menendez for their bipartisan leadership on this important legislation, as well as all the Members of Congress who supported it,” added Commissioner Tenzin Dorjee. “The U.S. government must not rest until the Chinese government closes the concentration camps and releases all of the Uighur and other Muslims unlawfully detained.”
In its 2019 Annual Report, USCIRF called upon the administration to use its authority under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and International Religious Freedom Act to enact targeted sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for severe religious freedom violations, especially Chen Quanguo, the current Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang. In September 2019, USCIRF released a report documenting how the Chinese government uses surveillance cameras, biometric technology and artificial intelligence to monitor and harass Uighur Muslims and other religious minorities.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze and report on threats to religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or 202-523-3240.