U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres Files Federal Legislation Requiring Annual Intelligence Report on Uyghur Genocide in Xinjiang, China

May 25, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15), a member of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), today announced he has filed federal legislation – the “Uyghur Genocide Intelligence Review Act” – requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to submit to Congress an annual report related to the ongoing and brutal genocide of more than one million Uyghurs – a Muslim ethnic minority group in China’s Xinjiang region.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s genocide against the Uyghur people is a crime against humanity that’s too grave to be ignored. The story of the victims must be fully told,” said Rep. Torres. “I am hopeful my legislation will build on the bipartisan work of the select committee to confront the human rights abuses by the CCP against ethnic and religious minorities. Both parties must work together and commit to sounding the alarm about the CCP’s clear and convincing intent to destroy the culture, identity, history, and very existence Uyghurs as a people, whose birthrates have already been cut in half by forced abortions and sterilizations. Once the United States invokes the term ‘genocide’, we have a special obligation to galvanize the federal government and the international community into action.”

Within 180 days of being signed into law, the “Uyghur Genocide Intelligence Review Act” requires the DNI, in coordination with relevant heads of the intelligence community, to submit to congressional intelligence committees a report on the Uyghur genocide addressing the following matters:

  • The forced sterilization, forced birth control, and forced abortion of Uyghurs.
  • The forced transfer of Uyghur children from their families.
  • The forced labor of Uyghurs, inside and outside Xinjiang.
  • The work conditions of Uyghur laborers, including identification of any company organized under the laws of the People’s Republic of China.
  • Any other forms of physical or psychological torture against Uyghurs.
  • Any other actions that infringe on the rights of Uyghurs to live freely in accordance with their customs, culture, and religious practices.
  • The methods of surveillance of Uyghurs, including surveillance via technology, law enforcement notifications, and forcing Uyghurs to live with other individuals for monitoring purposes.

The “Uyghur Genocide Intelligence Review Act” has been officially adopted as a key legislative priority for Congress by a unanimous and bipartisan group of members of the House Select Committee on the CCP as a way to end the CCP’s ongoing genocide. It’s also being supported by the Uyghur Human Rights Project, which works to promote the rights of Uyghurs.

“Uyghurs are very grateful to Rep. Torres for this bill to make sure Congress has up-to-date documentation of the ongoing genocide,” said Omer Kanat, Executive Director, UHRP. “In the midst of ongoing atrocities, policymakers must understand that genocidal policies continue and are becoming more intense and permanent.”

The CCP for years has resorted to extremely repressive policies and practices and other human rights abuses, including internment camps, forced labor, and mass surveillance, to try and forcefully assimilate more than one million Uyghurs into mainstream CCP culture and eradicate their identity, culture, religion, and presence in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

In March, Rep. Torres participated in a hearing of the select committee that examined the genocide’s horrific impact and included heartbreaking, firsthand testimony from a labor concentration camp survivor. It is estimated that as many as two million Uyghurs and other minorities have been detained by the CCP in mass internment camps and subjected to political indoctrination, torture, forced labor, and other genocidal violence.

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