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Rep. Young Kim

Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Uyghur Policy Act (H.R. 4785) with overwhelming bipartisan support to help the United States take concrete steps to support the human rights of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). 

The Uyghur Policy Act, led by U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39), Vice Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation, and Subcommittee Chair Ami Bera (CA-07), would create a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to raise international awareness of the persecution of Uyghurs, direct 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.  

Rep. Kim spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 4785. Watch here

“Millions of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are repeatedly silenced, detained, imprisoned, tortured and brainwashed by the Chinese government each day. Words are not enough to counter the Chinese Communist Party – we need action,” said Kim. “The Uyghur Policy Act equips the U.S. with tools needed to support the basic human rights and distinct identities of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region subject to the Chinese government’s inhumane treatment. I will continue to firmly push back against the Chinese government’s repeated disinformation, coercion and abuse and support human rights and freedom around the world.” 

“No one should be persecuted for their religious or cultural identity. Yet despite widespread and sustained international condemnation, the Chinese Communist Party continues to target Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for their faith and heritage,” said Rep. Ami Bera, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation. “The United States has a responsibility to lead by example and work closely with the global community to defend and advance human rights and freedoms. By passing this legislation today in a bipartisan manner, the U.S. House of Representatives further strengthens our response to the CCP’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang.” 

“The Uyghur Human Rights Project strongly endorses the Uyghur Policy Act. The deadly Urumchi fire, which killed at least 4 children on November 24, demonstrates the brutal policies that are causing so many innocent deaths in our homeland. This is the time for Congress to act. Uyghurs have suffered unbearably under an ongoing genocide for six years. We urge Congress to pass this bill on a bipartisan basis. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Representative Young Kim for introducing this bill, as well as cosponsor Representative Ami Bera, and all 78 other cosponsors,” said Omer Kanat, Executive Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project. 

The Uyghur Policy Act 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 Rep. 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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