Lawmakers of the United States House of Representatives voted 407 to 1 to approve the Uyghur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response Act (Uighur Act or Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act) of 2019, which commands the US administration to identify and sanction officials deemed responsible for their involvement in the mass internment of members of ethnic minority groups in the country’s Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.
Rubio said. “I applaud the House for taking swift action and passing an amended version of my bill and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to get it passed and sent to the President for enactment.”
“Today’s passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act is a recognition that the U.S. government cannot afford to stand idly by as millions of Uyghur Muslims continue to be unjustly imprisoned, subjected to a mass surveillance state, and forced into labor camps by an autocratic regime,” Ranking Member Menendez said.
The Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, called China’s treatment of the Uighurs “an outrage to the collective conscience of the world”, adding that “America is watching”.
“Today the human dignity and human rights of the Uighur community are under threat from Beijing’s barbarous actions, which are an outrage to the collective conscience of the world,” she said shortly before the vote.
The UIGHUR Act also demands that, on the same day, those individuals are subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act, seizing their US-based assets and barring them from entry onto US soil.
Following Tuesday’s approval, the bill will now travel to the Senate, either to be passed in its current form or enter a process during which Senators can request changes. A final reconciled bill would then travel to Trump’s desk.
“I urge you to lobby the Senate collectively or individually in the coming days to get this Bill done before Congress recess for the holidays. Simply, the time isn’t our side in that if this isn’t done before the end of the year we may experience undue delays potentially caused by the looming impeachment trial in the Senate, summer recess, midterm, and presidential elections later next year,” D.C. based Uyghur lawyer Nury Turkel said.
No matter how the bill goes next, today is a truly historic day to the millions of Uyghurs who are suffering in East Turkestan. The Uyghur diaspora including Uyghur Americans applauds the monumental action by the the U.S. congress and celebrates the victory of democracy with happy tears and excitement.
H.R.1025 – UIGHUR Act of 2019
S.178 – Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019
H.R.649 – Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019