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Hartzler, Suozzi Introduce Legislation to Combat Chinese Genocide of Uyghur Population

May 19, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Commissioners on the Congressional-Executive Committee on China (CECC), have introduced the Uyghur Stop Oppressive Sterilizations (SOS) Act to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for or complicit in forced sterilizations and forced abortions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). 
 
Since the atrocities against the Uyghurs began, the CECC has called for both the Biden and Trump Administrations to impose sanctions against the Chinese Government officials responsible and to make a public determination that the atrocious crimes were committed against Uyghurs.
 
On January 19, 2021, the U.S. State Departmen
determined that China has committed crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indicated he concurs with the department’s January 2021 determination, and the department’s 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, released in March 2021, stated that crimes against humanity and genocide are ongoing in Xinjiang.
 
“As Americans, we believe in the sacred freedoms of speech and religious liberty. As such, we cannot sit back and allow China to commit crimes against humanity on the Uyghur population residing in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” Hartzler said. “From forced sterilizations and abortions to mass internment camps and the mandated renunciations of faith, there are no ends to which China will go to erase ethnic minorities and dissent. The Uyghur Stop Oppressive Sterilizations Act holds those involved in these atrocities accountable by sanctioning them as well as also assisting victims of these abuses. I thank Rep. Suozzi for standing alongside me in our fight to hold China accountable for their genocidal actions towards the Uyghur population.”
 
“Put simply, we’re talking about crimes against humanity being perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party,” said Suozzi. “We must hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for these acts that violate our very conscience. Forced sterilization, perpetrated by a state government, holds no place in this world.”
 
Specifically, this legislation will:
  • Require the President to submit to Congress a strategy describing the steps taken to tangibly address the genocide in the XUAR and a strategy for ending those crimes. 
  • Direct the Secretary of State to provide all appropriate assistance to women in the XUAR who have experienced sexual violence, torture, forced sterilizations, and forced abortions. 
  • Sanction individuals responsible for or complicit in forced sterilizations, forced abortions, or other sexual violence. 
 
Uyghurs are one of 55 official ethnic minorities in China and are native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China.
 
It is estimated that since 2017, as many as 1.8 million people have been arbitrarily detained and forced into mass internment camps for indefinite periods and subjected to political indoctrination, forced renunciations of faith, forced labor, torture, and other severe human rights abuses. In addition, it is estimated that between 2016 and 2018, roughly 250,000 Xinjiang Muslims were formally convicted and sentenced to prison terms.
 
There is credible documentation of widespread and systematic forced sterilizations, forced abortions, and sexual violence against Uyghur women and other ethnic minority women in the XUAR. Women who survived internment camps have reported that they were forced to undergo multiple injections of unknown medicines that caused temporary or permanent loss of menstrual cycles. Chinese government documents, international reporting, and eyewitness accounts provide evidence strongly indicating that the Government of China is intentionally working to destroy and essentially wipe out Uyghur families.  
 
Read the bill in its entiret
here.