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Waltz, Khanna, and McCaul Call for Release of Uyghur Detainees and Accountability for Human Rights Violations in China

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  On Friday, U.S. Congressmen Mike Waltz (FL-06), Ro Khanna (CA-17), and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (TX-10) led a bipartisan letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Linda Thomas-Greenfield requesting the State Department to continue advocating for the release of arbitrarily detained individuals in China, including Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, throughout the duration of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

“This month marks the fifth anniversary of the unjust 20-year sentencing of Dr. Gulshan Abbas, a retired medical doctor, Uyghur, and mother who was imprisoned by the Chinese government in retaliation for her sister’s advocacy for Uyghur human rights abuses,” said Waltz. “Sadly, Dr. Abbas is only one of many Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities wrongfully held in Chinese prisons with immediate family members that are U.S. citizens. The harassment of U.S. citizens and their loved ones must end. That is why I am proud to send this bipartisan letter urging the U.S. State Department to call for the immediate release of these wrongfully held individuals, an end to the transnational repression efforts by the Chinese government against their family members in the U.S., and for China to be held accountable for its gross human rights violations.”

"It is the responsibility of the United States to fight for the release of relatives of U.S. citizens who have been arbitrarily detained by the PRC,” said Khanna. “I’m glad to be leading this important, bipartisan letter with Rep. Waltz to highlight these stories, the intimidation tactics the PRC uses to deter activists and journalists from speaking on human rights abuses carried out by the PRC and to urge accountability.”

“The CCP’s genocide against the Uyghurs and increasing use of hostage diplomacy is abhorrent,” said Chairman McCaul. “It is imperative we hold the CCP accountable for its human rights abuses in all forms – both in our bilateral diplomatic relations and through international organizations.”

Read the letter here.