Rubio Calls for Reauthorization of Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

Rubio Calls for Reauthorization of Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
June 6, 2024

The gross human rights violations the Chinese government continues to inflict upon the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minorities have continued to garner condemnation from the United States. In the latest effort to hold the CCP accountable, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called for the reauthorization of the bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, set to expire next year.

Sen. Rubio introduced the bill in 2020, and President Donald Trump signed it into law. The Act places sanctions on individuals connected with human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where much of the ongoing repression has occurred, in addition to protecting individuals in the United States facing harassment and intimidation from the Chinese government, such as dissidents and Uyghurs living abroad.

In March, Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging more significant pressure on China to release Uyghur prisoners, highlighting the case of Dr. Gulshan Abbas, who has multiple relatives living as U.S. citizens, including her two daughters, wrongfully imprisoned in 2018.

While Sen. Rubio does not mention Dr. Abbas in his press release, his statement calling for the reauthorization of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act does mention China's harassment of Uyghurs living abroad.

"At a time when the Uyghur diaspora and Chinese dissidents remain the targets of transnational repression at the hands of Communist China, we must have the tools needed to confront this threat. This reauthorization is essential, and I urge my colleagues to support this initiative," said Rubio.

Sen. Merkley similarly stated that the United States refuses to be complicit in the ongoing genocide, calling the bill's reauthorization "vital."

"The United States must continue to send a clear message that we will not be complicit in the Chinese government's persecution and genocide of Uyghur Muslims. Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang are being tortured, imprisoned, enslaved, forced into labor, and pressured to abandon their religious and cultural practices by the Chinese government. Passing this bill is vital to holding China accountable for these grave human rights violations while protecting the victims of this genocide," said Sen. Merkley.

In May, President Biden blacklisted 26 Chinese textile companies making use of Uyghur slave labor, which Rubio praised. Still, the Florida Senator pointed out there is no effort to target exporters of these slave-made products.

"While the inclusion of these entities is long overdue, it's concerning that the Biden Administration has once again failed to include exporters who are complicit in slave labor practices. At a time when companies continue to enrich themselves from forced labor, DHS must prioritize including entities who are sending slave-made products into the U.S.," said Rubio.

Related Posts

Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


More Related Posts