May 22, 2019

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Menendez-Rubio Uyghur Human Rights Bill

 

WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), today released the following statements after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee marked up their bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act:

“Today we are all Uyghurs, and China’s horrific and systematic abuse of its Uyghur minority is an affront to all people who value the principles of universal human rights, and Beijing’s imposition of systemic mass surveillance in Xinjiang should send a chill down the spine of every person who values humanity, human life, and ethnic, religious and cultural freedom,” Menendez said. “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has taken an important stand today against President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party’s vision of a dystopian authoritarian future for their own people and for the planet, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join with Senator Rubio and myself in passing this legislation as soon as possible."

“It is long overdue to hold Chinese government and Communist Party officials accountable for systemic and egregious human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang,” Rubio said. “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee took an important step today by marking up our bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act. I urge the full Senate and the House to quickly pass this bill so the President can enact it into law.”

Co-sponsors include Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Angus King (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

A copy of the legislation can be found here. Key elements of the legislation include:

·        A report by the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the State Department, regarding the regional security threat posed by the crackdown and the frequency with which Central Asian countries are forcibly returning Turkic Muslim refugees and asylum seekers. The report will also include a list of Chinese companies involved in the construction and operation of the camps.

·        An FBI report on efforts to provide information to and protect U.S. citizens and LPRs (including Uyghurs) from Chinese government harassment and intimidation on American soil.

·        The establishment of a new “double-hatted” position at the State Department (Special Coordinator for Xinjiang) while the crisis persists.

·        A report by the CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media regarding efforts to intimidate Radio Free Asia (RFA) employees, the status and reach of U.S. broadcasting to Xinjiang, and analysis of disinformation propaganda by the PRC targeting Uyghur communities globally.

·        A report by the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the State Department, regarding 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.

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