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Rep. Young Kim Fights for Afghan Women & Girls

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Young Kim (CA-39), Vice Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation, and Subcommittee Chairman Ami Bera (CA-07), introduced a bipartisan bill to support the human rights and safeguard the distinct identity of Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).  

The Uyghur Policy Act of 2021 (H.R. 4785) creates a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to raise international awareness of the persecution of Uyghurs, empower the State Department to effectively respond to human rights challenges in the XUAR, and push back on the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) efforts to silence Uyghur voices. 

“Millions of Uyghurs and other ethnic minority groups have been imprisoned, tortured and brainwashed in so-called ‘political reeducation’ centers  by PRC officials. We must stand against these gross human rights abuses,” said Congresswoman Kim. “I’m proud to lead the Uyghur Policy Act of 2021 with Chairman Bera to create concrete steps for the U.S. to support the fundamental human rights of Uyghurs and other groups subject to the PRC’s inhumane treatment. I will continue to firmly push back against the PRC’s repeated disinformation, coercion and abuse and support human rights and freedom around the world.”  

“Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are routinely silenced, detained, and tortured due to their religious and cultural identity. Despite broad international condemnation, Beijing continues to suppress the most basic rights of the Uyghur community,” said Representative Ami Bera, M.D., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. “We must lead with our values in the Indo-Pacific and globally, which is why I am proud to help introduce the Uyghur Policy Act, legislation that bolsters the U.S. response to these atrocities by ensuring interagency cooperation on Uyghur issues and providing the State Department with the resources to effectively respond to this crisis. This legislation reaffirms America’s commitment to defending our democratic values abroad, and I am proud to lead this bipartisan push back on China’s atrocities in Xinjiang from a position of coordination and strength.” 

Millions of Uyghurs and other ethnic minority groups residing in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) continue to be victimized by state-sponsored genocide and the PRC’s “reeducation” campaign. In addition, the PRC utilizes its global network of embassies and consulates, as well as its representatives at the United Nations, to track down Uyghurs living abroad and intimidate them or force their return to China. 

Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Chabot (OH-01) and Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Val Demings (FL-10), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), David Cicilline (RI-01) and Dina Titus (NV-01) joined Reps. Kim and Bera as original cosponsors of the bill. 

The Uyghur Policy Act of 2021 would: 

  • Create a Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues within the State Department; 

  • Direct the U.S. Agency for Global Media to disseminate information concerning Uyghurs and other minority groups in the XUAR to Islamic majority countries; 

  • Require the State Department to offer Uyghur language training to Foreign Service Officers and to assign a Uyghur-fluent officer to a U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in China; 

  • Call on the U.S. Government to develop a strategy, in coordination with like-minded countries, to pressure the PRC to close all detention facilities and push for the immediate release of those detained; and, 

  • Support U.S. efforts to raise Uyghur issues at the United Nations, including by supporting the appointment of a special rapporteur for the XUAR for human rights violations and abuses.  

H.R. 4785 builds on Congresswoman Kim’s efforts to promote human rights for all people in China and around the world. Read the text of the bill HERE.  

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