By Dr. Jianli Yang
A large coalition of religious leaders, scholars and human rights advocates urge Congress to ensure American dollars are not funding oppression in China.
A coalition of 150 organizations, religious leaders, scholars and human rights advocates who are participants in the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable (www.irfroundtable.org)in Washington, DC, sent a signed multi-faith letter to Members of Congress imploring them to support the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R.6210/S.3471). The letter briefly stated the situation of oppression in China and urged the Members to contact Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the sponsors of the bills. The coalition praised Congress this week for passing the House Bill H.R. 6210 and turned its advocacy to the Senate.
The letter exposes forced labor programs, a chilling component of the Chinese Community Party’s (CCP) brutal campaign of repression of the Xinjiang region’s Muslim ethnic group in northeast China. It is estimated that over 1 million Muslims are in “reeducation” camps, separated from families, receiving enforced indoctrination and experiencing torture. The spread of the persecution is not only in the camps but throughout the area.
Reports in the form of firsthand accounts, video footage and studies have been leaking out of China over the last decade regarding the ever-increasing suppression of the Uyghur religious/ethnic population. In August 2019, our organization Citizen Power Initiatives for China released a report, “Cotton: The Fabric Full of Lies” which finds that there is presence of forced labor at many steps of the cotton supply chain and some of these products have entered into international commerce, including the U.S. and European markets. In March 2020, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a report, “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-education’, forced labour and surveillance beyond Xinjiang,” which identified 83 foreign and Chinese companies as allegedly, directly or indirectly, benefiting from the use of Uyghur workers outside Xinjiang through potentially abusive labor transfer programs… [Continue Reading]