It’s Time to Stand Up for Xinjiang

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The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, together with 33 other NGOs and human rights organizations, has today sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin urging them to impose Global Magnitsky sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet.

Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said: “The CCP is committing cultural genocide against both the Uyghur and Tibetan ethnic minorities in China. They are incarcerating a million people in Xinjiang in a 21st century gulag and surveillance state—the scale of these abuses is unconscionable and the United States must respond.”

China’s incarceration of 1-2 million Uyghurs constitutes the largest imprisonment of an ethnic minority in the world. Over a million innocent Uyghurs are languishing in concentration camps in subhuman conditions only because they are religiously Muslim and ethnically different from the ruling Chinese. They suffer ritual humiliation and are forced to renounce their religion. Even those Uyghurs who are not in concentration camps live in constant fear, as China has turned their homeland into a totalitarian surveillance state where their every move is monitored.

The CCP is committing cultural genocide against both the Uyghur and Tibetan ethnic minorities in China. They are incarcerating a million people in Xinjiang in a 21st century gulag and surveillance state—the scale of these abuses is unconscionable and the United States must respond.
— Marion Smith

We applaud the Congressional Executive Commission on China’s (CECC) August letter to Secretaries Pompeo and Mnuchin, and concur with its conclusion that China’s actions merit a “tough, targeted, and global response.” The Chinese government’s indignant response that the CECC is “interfering in other countries’ internal politics” and “threatening to impose unreasonable sanctions” proves China fears the court of public opinion, and shows precisely why we must continue to shine a spotlight on the CCP’s horrific human rights abuses.

The CCP is using the same tactics of cultural genocide in Tibet and they have even used the same CCP strongmen to enforce them. After rolling out a dense surveillance system with hundreds of police stations in Tibet during his five-year term as Party Secretary, Chen Quanguo was then made Party Secretary of Xinjiang to enforce the same policies of ethnic control.

Earlier this year, the Foundation submitted to the State and Treasury Departments a list of Chinese officials, including Chen Quanguo, that should be considered for Global Magnitsky sanctions due to their role in trampling Uyghurs’ human rights. Chinese officials who are committing these crimes should not be free to travel to the United States or to use U.S. dollars, and imposing Magnitsky sanctions on them will send a strong message to the CCP that its human rights abuses will not be tolerated.

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Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. VOC was authorized by a unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton.

For press inquiries, please contact Naphtali Rivkin by email at Naphtali.rivkin@victimsofcommunism.org or by phone at (202)-629-9500.