On April 28, 2020, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2020 Annual Report. The Annual Report highlights religious freedom violations across the world.
“The report’s main focus is on two groups of countries: first, those that USCIRF
recommends the State Department should designate as Countries of Particular Concerns (CPCs) under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), and second, those that USCIRF recommends the State Department should place on its Special Watch List (SWL).”
The USCIRF reported highlighted the Chinese governments mass internment of millions of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Muslims in an estimated 1,300 so-called “re-education” concentration camps. Majority of the people were sent to the concentration camps for having a beard, wearing a veil, refusing alcohol, praying, having religious text, all of which China equates to as “religious extremism.” The report also highlighted the conditions of the concentration camps and stated that detainees were suffering from torture, rape, sterilization, and other abuses.
The forced labor of Uyghur and other Turkic peoples in Chinese factories, the forced separation of nearly half a million children from their families, and the destruction of mosques and other religious sites across East Turkistan were also mentioned in the report.
USCIRF made the following recommendations to the US Government:
Impose targeted sanctions on Chinese government agencies and officials
responsible for severe violations of religious freedom—particularly Xinjiang
Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and former Political and Legal
Affairs Commission Chief Zhu Hailun— by freezing those individuals’ assets and/
or barring their entry into the United States under human rights related financial and visa authorities, citing specific religious freedom violations;
• Publicly express concerns about Beijing hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games
and state that U.S. government officials will not attend the games if the Chinese
government’s crackdown on religious freedom continues; and
• Continue and intensify efforts to counter Chinese government influence operations in the United States that are designed to suppress information about or advocacy in response to violations of religious freedom in China.
The U.S. Congress should:
• Support the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019 (H.R.4331/S.2539) and other legislation designed to promote religious freedom in China; and
• Support the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R.6210/S.3471), which
would prohibit the importation to the United States of textiles, cotton, and
other goods from [East Turkistan] Xinjiang.
The report also urged the Indonesian Government to publicly raise the persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in East Turkistan.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile commends the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom for its work and supports USCIRF’s recommendations to the US Government and the US Congress.
Our recommendations to the US Congress and the US Government are:
1) Immediately pass the UIGHUR Act (S.178) and sign it into law;
2)Formally recognize East Turkistan as an occupied country and treat East Turkistan on par with Tibet;
3)Recognize China’s brutal atrocities in East Turkistan as a genocide and take necessary actions to prevent a 21st century Holocaust like mass extermination campaign.