On Wednesday, policymakers in the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to sanction the government officials of China responsible for imprisonment camps in the Xinjiang region. In this region, more than two million ethnic Muslims imprisoned violently. The legislature, entitled the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, convicts the Chinese ruling party, such as the Communist Party, for the imprisonment centers and suggests a strict response to the abuses against human rights of Uyghur Muslims, ethnic Kazakhs as well as other Muslim minorities in the region.
Lawmakers in the House voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to sanction Chinese government officials responsible for internment camps in the region of Xinjiang, where up to 2 million ethnic Muslims have been forcibly detained https://t.co/4BjsxgHEA7
— CNN (@CNN) May 28, 2020
The legislation passed with a vote of 413-1. Thomas Massie, the Kentucky Republican, was the only opponent. Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, expresses before the vote that the brutal action of Beijing targeting the innocent people of Uyghur is a crime to the communal consciousness of the world. He adds that the House of Representatives is sending a message in a very strong way to the victimize people that U.S. representatives always remember them. The House is saying to the Chinese president: you may tell these victimize people that they overlooked by the Chinese government, but they aren’t.
Senate Approved the bill two weeks ago
The United States Senate approved the bill around fourteen days ago. After approval from the Senate and House, it will go to the desk of Donald Trump, the President of the United States, for his signature. On Tuesday, Trump didn’t say whether he would sign the bill or not, telling media persons that he is taking a very deep look. On the request of comment about the legislation, the White House declined to do so.
Under the law, the President would have one hundred and eighty days to submit a report to Congress in order to identify the Chinese officials as well as any other persons responsible for doing torture; continued arrest without charges or a trial; kidnapping; vicious, cruel, or humiliating treatment of Uyghur Muslims minority groups; and other barefaced renunciations of the right to live, the security or liberty of people in Xinjiang.
Uyghur human rights bill is sent to Trump’s desk, giving him 180 days to submit a report to Congress w/ Chinese officials responsible for internment camps in Xinjiang, which will prompt sanctions unless Trumpopts against them. @byrdinator reports. https://t.co/ixFBczew4J
— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) May 28, 2020
The people acknowledged in the report would then relate to sanctions, including asset blocking, visa cancelation, and disqualification for entry into the U.S. The legislation gives the President room to choose against slapping sanctions on the Chinese officials if he determines and endorses to Congress that defer on sanctions is in the interest of the United States. The bill also involves the State Department to gather a report on violation of human rights in Xinjiang, including evaluations of how many people kept in the camps along with the information on the circumstances they face.
The State Department previously specifies the abuses details
The State Department of the U.S. formerly details the abuses in its yearly Human Rights & Internal Religious Freedom reports. On Wednesday, a spokesman of the State Department said that they don’t give their remarks on awaiting legislation. The department shares the concerns of Congress about the human rights crisis in Xinjiang and would continue to collaborate with Congress to respond to the issue. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom celebrated the passage of the legislation on Wednesday afternoon.
The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act will promote the rights of Uyghur and other Muslims
Nury Turkel, the USCIRF Commissioner, stated that the world stood by the with the millions of Muslims as the government of China detained them in concentration camps. The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act termed as the first key legislation passed to promote and focus the rights of Uyghur as well as other Muslims. Hopefully, other countries across the world will follow the lead of the United States government and take positive action on the matter. On Tuesday, the House Speaker appointed Turkel as a lawyer and Uyghur people’s rights advocate, to the commission.
“The world has stood by for too long as the Chinese government detained millions of Muslims in concentration camps,” USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel said in a statement. https://t.co/XX6zUiFBPt
— Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) May 27, 2020
Fifty senators mutually sponsored the bill
Over fifty senators mutually sponsored the bill, from Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and the top Senator of the Democratic party on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez. A bilateral coalition including Representatives, Mike McCaul, Jim McGovern, Chris Smith, Brad Sherman, along with others emphasized for the advancement of the bill in the House. Last December, the House members passed their own version of the bill, with a vote ration of 407-1. The government of China reacted with anger at that time, with Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of Foreign Ministry said that it shamelessly smeared, what China claimed their act as counterterrorism efforts.
Senators confidently hoped to approve the legislation till the 2019 end, but the Republican representatives took issue with some of the requirements the House added to the measure. Moreover, the issue also put on hold during the impeachment process of Donald Trump. Rubio admired the approval of Bill from the House in a statement, saying that the U.S. stands with the Muslims of Uyghur across the world. He adds that the government will not sit idly by as the government of China, as well as the Chinese Communist Party, commit egregious horrible human rights abuses and atrocious crimes against humanity.