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WASHINGTON – Iowa Republican U.S. Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley joined U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and U.S. Reps. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., and Christopher Smith, R-N.J., along with 73 members of the Senate and the House in sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin regarding the ongoing atrocities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. 

The letter urges the Trump Administration to issue a formal determination of the atrocity crimes, including crimes against humanity and genocide and presses them to impose sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for these heinous policies.

“These human rights abuses demand a response from the United States as well as the international community because evidence strongly indicates that the Chinese government is intentionally working to destroy and essentially wipe out Uyghur families, culture, and religious adherence and encouraging violence against women. Therefore, we urge you not only to condemn this heinous policy but also to sanction those Chinese officials responsible for these crimes. Furthermore, we ask that the Administration make an official determination as to whether the Chinese government is responsible for perpetrating atrocity crimes, including genocide, against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim ethnic minorities,” the members wrote.

“In addition to making a determination of the atrocity crimes, including crimes against humanity and genocide, and imposing sanctions, we also urge you to work with other concerned countries to support a United Nations (UN) initiative to examine and document Chinese government policies in the XUAR in light of its international obligations. In particular, our representatives should work with allies and partners to hold a UN Security Council briefing and to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the situation in the XUAR,” the members continued.

“Evidence of violence against Uyghur women and coercive efforts to halt the growth of the Uyghur population in the XUAR requires strong U.S. leadership and international action. The Chinese government has committed horrific acts in the XUAR—including mass internment, family separations, forced labor and forced renunciations of faith—for far too long. It is time for action,” the members concluded.

Read the entire letter below:

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