Uyghur Human Rights in China and Abroad
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the human rights situation of the Uyghurs, a primarily Muslim ethnic minority group living in China’s most northwest province, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Over the past decades, Chinese authorities have pursued a policy of strict religious and cultural control over Uyghur populations residing in China, and have sought to extend that control abroad. The government has restricted Uyghur freedoms of expression, movement, religion and assembly in order to crack down on what they have designated as the “three evil forces” of religious extremism, ethnic separatism and violent terrorism. Government control has extended to the use of the Uyghur language, the training of Muslim clerics, the celebration of Ramadan, the issuing of passports, the use of veils and the growing of beards. Uyghurs peacefully seeking to promote their political or religious views are often arbitrarily detained and given long prison sentences.
In the summer of 2017, dozens of Uyghur university students studying in Cairo were arrested by Egyptian authorities in coordination with the Chinese government. They were repatriated to China to undergo a program of “re-education.” In 2015, 109 Uyghurs were forcibly repatriated from Thailand, and the international community has still not been able to confirm their whereabouts or well-being.
Panelists will discuss China’s efforts to control the Uyghurs, and will offer recommendations on how the United States and the international community can responsibly protect Uyghur human rights.
This briefing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. For any questions, please contact Jamie Staley (for Mr. Hultgren) at (202-226-1516) or Jamie.Staley@mail.house.gov or Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or Kimberly.Stanton@mail.house.gov.
- Alim Seytoff, Uyghur Service Director, Radio Free Asia
- Rebiya Kadeer, President, World Uyghur Congress
- Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Contributing Writer, Foreign Policy
- Sophie Richardson, China Director, Human Rights Watch
- Thomas Lum, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service
- Rep. Randy Hultgren, Co-Chair, TLHRC
- Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC