Congress Passes Uyghur Human Rights Act
Congress has passed the “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019”. The act’s purpose is to investigate the “gross violations of universally recognized human rights, including the mass internment of over 1,000,000 Uyghurs and other predominately Muslim ethnic minorities in China”. Towards that end, it directs President Trump to “call on Chinese President Xi Jinping to recognize the profound abuse and likely lasting damage of China’s current policies, and immediately close the “political reeducation” camps”. Additionally, the act authorizes “targeted sanctions on members of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party,” and United States companies and individuals to “consider prohibiting the sale or provision of any United States-made goods or services to any state agent in Xinjiang…[to avoid] contributing to human rights violations in Xinjiang or elsewhere in China”.
The Uyghur Human Rights Act received “bipartisan support” as the Senate voted unanimously in its favor, and the House of Representatives voted 417-1 for its passing. The sole dissenting vote in Congress was Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie.