WORCESTER – Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, released this statement today following House Passage of the Uighur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response Act:
“In the last year, Chinese authorities have expanded their network of mass internment camps, where it is now estimated that 1.8 million or more Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims have been involuntarily detained.
“We now know from firsthand accounts that detainees in these camps are subjected to torture, extended solitary confinement, and political indoctrination. We also know about the disturbing and widespread use of government-subsidized forced labor in both the internment camps and in factories throughout the Xinjiang region. And over the last month, we have received additional evidence from leaked Chinese government documents that these camps are designed to ‘wash clean the brains’ of detainees, that children of detainees are often placed in orphanages and boarding schools, and that detainees are held involuntarily and cannot escape.
“This is a systematic, widespread, and shocking violation of basic human rights for which the Government of China must be held accountable.
“While current U.S. law prohibits the import of any product made with forced labor, much more needs to be done to ensure that Americans are not purchasing products from companies that are complicit in human rights violations. The UIGHUR Act is an essential update and strengthening of U.S. policy in response to gross human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
“Its passage today makes it clear that Congress stands in solidarity with the Uyghur people and other suppressed minorities affected by the mass internment and surveillance system in the Xinjiang region, and we will continue to do all we can to support the full exercise of their human rights in Xinjiang and in China.