The State Department is taking action against People’s Republic of China, or PRC, officials for repressing predominantly Muslim Uighurs, members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, and religious and spiritual practitioners inside and outside of China’s borders, including within the United States.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on March 21 that “the United States rejects efforts by PRC officials to harass, intimidate, surveil, and abduct members of ethnic and religious minority groups, including those who seek safety abroad, and U.S. citizens, who speak out on behalf of these vulnerable populations. We are committed to defending human rights around the world and will continue to use all diplomatic and economic measures to promote accountability.”
The newly-announced visa restrictions will be imposed against PRC officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic and religious minority groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labor organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protestors in China and beyond.
“We again call on the PRC government to cease its acts of transnational repression, including attempting to silence Uighur American activists and other Uighur individuals serving the American people by denying exit permission to their family members in China,” said Secretary Blinken.
The United States reaffirms its support for those who speak out despite the threat of retaliation. More than one million predominantly Muslim Uighurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups are in extrajudicial internment camps and an additional two million are subjected to so-called “re-education” training. Secretary Blinken reiterated his call to the “PRC government to end its ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, repressive policies in Tibet, crackdown on fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, and human rights violations and abuses, including violations of religious freedom, elsewhere in the country.”
As this recent action illustrates, the United States will continue to work, alongside the international community, to promote accountability for PRC officials responsible for atrocities and human rights violations and abuses wherever they occur, including within China, the United States, and elsewhere around the world.