US House passes Bill to sanction Chinese officials for Uyghur treatment


Washington DC (USA)

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday (local time) overwhelmingly passed legislation on to hold China accountable for human rights violations of Uyghur Muslims and other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region.

The House adopted the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 with a 413-1 vote. It will now head to President Donald Trump's desk to be signed into law.
The Act, which was introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, passed in the Senate by unanimous consent earlier this month, The Hill reported.

Under the legislation, Trump would revoke visas and imposed sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights violations against Uyghurs.
The measure also called for the State Department to assemble a report on human rights violations in Xinjiang.

Speaking on the floor ahead of the vote, Congressman Brad Sherman said that "Beijing has leveraged its economic clout to silence criticism and its horrific human rights abuses".
"So many countries, particularly Muslim countries that always speak out when any group of Muslims is being denied their human rights have been pressured into silence," Sherman said.
"Now, China wants the world to forget about the Uyghurs as we grapple with this global pandemic. We must push back. Today we send a message that we stand with the Uyghurs, fight for the oppressed and we will not forget," he added.

The legislation comes at a time when relations between the US and China have strained due to coronavirus pandemic, where both countries have tried to blame the other for the outbreak.
Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo declared that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, which is expected to lead to significant changes in trade and economic relations between the US and China.

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