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Suozzi Stands-up to Defend Uyghurs from China Genocide

By Rupert Deedes


        Congressmen Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) re-launched the bipartisan “Congressional Uyghur Caucus” to raise awareness of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “systemic human rights violations against the Uyghur people… and to support legislation aimed at addressing the largest coordinated human rights abuse of the 21st century.”

          The Uyghurs (pronounced “Wee-Gars”) are a Turkish people of 25 million who live in the westernmost province of China – once called Eastern Turkestan, now called Xinjiang - where they are a majority of the population.  East Turkestan borders another oppressed minority province of China - Tibet - which was once a separate country.   

         The Chinese Communists have targeted the Uyghur population for genocide – by arresting and imprisoning over 1 million Uyghurs in concentration camps; murdering tens of thousands of men, women and children; removing children from their families; mass medical sterilization; colonizing East Turkestan with Han Chinese settlers from the east; and forcing Uyghur children to not speak their own Turkish language, but to speak instead the Mandarin Chinese language.

          Suozzi and Smith, who co-chair the Caucus, were joined by Rushan Abbas, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Campaign for Uyghurs.

          “We just do not hear about the Uyghurs enough, and I am excited to come back to Congress to make sure that we let more people know what is happening,” stated Suozzi.

          The priority of the revamped caucus, Suozzi said, will be to more widely spread awareness of the plight of Uyghurs in China’s far-west, whom the U.S. government says are subject to an “ongoing genocide” and are often detained in “forced-labor concentration camps.”

          “We have to figure out how, as a team, can we make this part of the national conversation, and the global conversation?” added Suozzi. “There's no question of the abuse. There's no question about how horrific it is. There's no question that it's being done.”

          “There's no question it would rise to the level of the things that would most offend most people – if they were educated about it,” he added. “but we can't get it to be part of everyday conversation.”

          “What’s happening to Uyghurs should shock everyone’s conscience. As co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Uyghur Caucus, I will continue to stand up, call out, and push back against the Chinese Communist Party for its oppression and persecution of Uyghur Muslims,” said Suozzi. “The CCP is brutally and systemically trying to destroy the Uyghur people with mass internment camps, forced labor, sexual abuse, and forced sterilization. We cannot shy away from this. We must shine a light on these atrocities.”

          “Every day reveals new horrors unfolding for Uyghurs in East Turkistan. This genocide demands a response that matches its depravity, and the Caucus shows promise of tangible policy actions to confront the horror,” stated Rushan Abbas. “The leadership of Representatives Suozzi and Smith and their tireless advocacy for Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, and Southern Mongolians is a testament to their integrity and moral compass. We could not be more grateful.”

          In September 2020, Suozzi cosponsored the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which prohibits imports from China’s Uyghur Region unless Customs and Border Protection determines with “clear and convincing” evidence that forced labor was not used at any stage of its production.

          “The United States must stand up for its values and make it clear that we will not be complicit in the internment and forced labor of Uyghurs,” he said in Congress.

          The proposal was eventually signed into law by President Joe Biden in December, 2021. Beginning in June, 2022, any company that imports goods from the Xinjiang region needs to certify that those goods were not produced using forced labor.

          “While the CCP claims that these prisons are for ‘reeducation’ or ‘poverty alleviation,’ clear evidence, as confirmed by the United Nations in 2022, shows that the program is to erase the Uyghur people and culture through forced labor, sexual abuse, forced sterilization, and attacks on religious beliefs,” explained Suozzi.


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