U.S. lawmakers seek sanctions on China over treatment of Muslims

Washington, US lawmakers on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump’s administration to impose sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses against Muslim ethnic minorities in the country’s far-west in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)..

In a letter dated Aug. 28, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Chris Smith co-chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and 15 other bipartisan lawmakers wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin raising concerns over what they called a “human rights crisis” in the XUAR.

“Muslim ethnic minorities are being subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, egregious restrictions on religious practice and culture, and a digitized surveillance system so pervasive that every aspect of daily life is monitored,” the bipartisan letter said.

“Given the gravity of the situation, and the severity and scope of the rights abuses being perpetrated, we urge you to apply Global Magnitsky sanctions, and consider additional measures, against senior Chinese Government and Communist Party officials who oversee these repressive policies,” it added.

“Today I and a bipartisan group of 16 members of Congress asked the President to use the Global Magnitsky Act to freeze the assets and ban the entry of Chinese officials responsible for the mass roundup of Muslims in internment camps in the Xinjiang region,” Rubio said on Twitter.

China has denied allegations that one million of its mostly Muslim Uighur minority are being held in internment camps.

A Chinese official told a UN human rights committee in Geneva earlier this month that tough security measures in Xinjiang were necessary to combat extremism and terrorism, but did not target any specific ethnic group or restrict religious freedoms.

Source: Jordan News Agency