Target: Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
Goal: Defend religious minorities and other apparently oppressed groups in China.
China stands accused of persecuting religious minorities in modern-day concentration camps. The government has also banned a prominent human rights leader from even visiting Hong Kong, the site of mass civil discontent. America’s leaders could be looking the other way on these and other potential human rights abuses all in a bid to ease trade tensions.
Recently, an annual Congressional report on the status of human rights in China detailed a rapidly deteriorating situation and specifically addressed the plight of the minority Muslim Uighur people. The report alleges that in the city of Xinjiang, “Chinese authorities may be committing crimes against humanity.” Specifically, the minorities are allegedly being forced to remake their homes in a more traditional Chinese manner. Worse yet, over a million Uighur citizens, mostly men, have allegedly been sent to “reeducation” camps, where claims of torture and forced medical experimentation have emerged. In addition, the families left behind are said to be under constant surveillance, with some even forced to live with soldiers.
The House of Representatives passed a series of sweeping sanctions addressing these alleged abuses in December, but predictably the effort died in the Senate. A renewed bipartisan initiative that would make human rights a centerpiece of any future U.S./China negotiations brings with it renewed hope for needed action. The United States cannot continue to turn a blind eye to human rights for the sake of greed and profit.
Sign this petition to demand the Senate put this critical affirmation of human rights back at the forefront where it belongs.
Dear Senator McConnell,
China’s decision to ban the organization Human Rights Watch from Hong Kong did indeed demonstrate “the downward trajectory of Beijing’s respect for human rights.” What is the United States prepared to do about this deterioration of humanity’s most basic freedoms? Will this country continue to ignore the problem just to give the president a perceived win on trade?
The Senate had an opportunity to stand with fellow Congressional members in sending a strong message about the sanctity of human rights to China. You failed to advance essential sanctions reportedly because trade talks were ongoing. In the interim, countless religious minorities were allegedly shipped off to “reeducation” camps and thousands more Hong Kong citizens took to the streets in a bid to secure their fundamental liberties.
The recent Congressional report on the “crimes against humanity” possibly occurring at this very moment in Xinjiang were your latest wake-up call. Please do not once again turn your back on the values that are supposed to symbolize America. Come together with your colleagues and pass the sanctions against China that truly matter.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: US Department of State