Washington, May 28 : Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to sanction Chinese government officials responsible for internment camps in the region of Xinjiang, where up to 2 million ethnic Muslims have been forcibly detained, CNN reported. The legislation, titled the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, condemns the Chinese Communist Party for the detention centers and recommends a tougher response to the human rights abuses suffered by Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in the region.
The bill was passed 413-1, with Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie being the sole opponent. The Senate approved the bill two weeks ago and now it will go to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature. The president, however, has not made his own position clear on whether he will sign it or not, telling reporters he is "taking a look at it very strongly.
" Under the legislation, the President would have 180 days to submit a report to Congress identifying Chinese officials and any other individuals who are responsible for carrying out torture; prolonged detention without charges and a trial; abduction; cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment of Muslim minority groups; and other flagrant denials of the "right to life, liberty, or the security" of people in Xinjiang.
The individuals identified in the report would then be subject to sanctions, including asset blocking, visa revocation, and ineligibility for entry into the United States. The legislation gives Trump room to opt against imposing sanctions on the officials if he determines and certifies to Congress that holding back on sanctions is in the national interest of the United States. The bill also requires the State Department to assemble a report on human rights violations in Xinjiang, including estimates of how many people are confined in the camps and information on the conditions they face. The State Department currently details the abuses in its annual Human Rights and International Religious Freedom reports. (UNI)