Owens Co-Sponsors the Uyghur Policy Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) co-sponsored the Uyghur Policy Act. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would create a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to raise international awareness of the persecution of Uyghurs, direct the State Department to effectively respond to human rights challenges in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and push back on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) efforts to silence Uyghur voices.
“The Chinese Communist Party continues to carry out its atrocious campaign against the Uyghur community resulting in forced sterilization, torture, and censorship of millions of Uyghurs,” said Rep. Owens. “The Uyghur Policy Act will hold the CCP accountable for its evil actions, rally the global community to ensure religious liberty in China, and support the Uyghur community. I am proud to support this commonsense legislation and will continue championing human rights and religious freedom in every corner of the world.”
The Uyghur Policy Act would:
- Create a Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues within the State Department;
- Direct the U.S. Agency for Global Media to disseminate information concerning Uyghurs and other minority groups in the XUAR to Islamic-majority countries;
- Require the State Department to offer Uyghur language training to Foreign Service Officers and to assign a Uyghur-fluent officer to a U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in China;
- Call on the U.S. Government to develop a strategy, in coordination with like-minded countries, to pressure the PRC to close all detention facilities and push for the immediate release of those detained; and,
- Support U.S. efforts to raise Uyghur issues at the United Nations, including by supporting the appointment of a special rapporteur for the XUAR for human rights violations and abuses.
The full text of the legislation is available here.