The US Senate approves a project on the human rights of Uighurs

The United States Senate on Thursday passed a bill in favor of Uighur rights, which envisages sanctioning Chinese government officials responsible for abuses against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.

The bipartisan initiative co-sponsored by more than 50 senators, still to be debated by the Lower House and signed by the president, comes at a time of renewed tension between Washington and Beijing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This sends a clear message that the United States will not remain on the sidelines as millions of Uighur Muslims are unjustly imprisoned, subjected to mass surveillance and forced labor camps by the Beijing autocratic regime," the Democratic senator said on his Twitter account. and one of the promoters of the project, Bob Menéndez.

His Republican colleague Marco Rubio, who also supported the proposal, said the project seeks to hold the Chinese Communist Party responsible "for grotesque actions."

Rubio said he hoped the bill would be approved tomorrow by the House of Representatives, dominated by the Democratic opposition, and so President Trump "can enact it."

The US channel CNN detailed that the project, dubbed the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, seeks to condemn the Communist Party of China and seeks to toughen the response to abuses suffered by Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities.

The law provides, if passed, a 180-day period for President Trump to send Congress a report identifying Chinese officials and others responsible for torturing, holding, and holding in prolonged detention without charge or trial, as well as of infringing cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on minority Muslim groups, among others.

Although the intention is to impose sanctions, the White House is given the power to decide whether to impose sanctions or to retain them in accordance with the "national interest".

The Uyghur Human Rights Project recalled in a statement that the Senate had already approved an earlier version of the bill in September 2019, while the House of Representatives voted similar legislation in December 2019, so it urged the Lower House to "take action quickly" so that this project reaches the president's desk and becomes law.

"This represents the first legislative response to the Uighur human rights crisis and is an important first step in a more comprehensive political response," said the organization.

On December 4, the Chinese government strongly condemned the approval by the US lower house. of a bill on the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and warned that it will respond "as the situation unfolds" if the text is validated by the Senate and Trump.


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