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Elevate Attention to Abuses Directed at Uighurs

The U.S. government should assertively discourage the Chinese government’s efforts to justify sweeping human rights abuses against Uighurs in the name of “counterterrorism.”

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The U.S. government should assertively discourage the Chinese government’s efforts to justify sweeping human rights abuses against Uighurs in the name of “counterterrorism.” Specific measures that could be taken include stepping up mechanisms to monitor abuses suffered by the Uighurs in China through the appointment, for example, of a Special Envoy or Special Coordinator for Uighur Affairs, as suggested in draft 1997 legislation.

The U.S. government could also facilitate visits of congressional and State Department delegations to Xinjiang, and ensure that unjustified Chinese government allegations of terrorism do not hinder the freedom and rights of Uighurs outside China. The United States, for example, should not rely on Chinese-provided intelligence to impose travel restrictions to the United States on Uighurs who are citizens of European countries.

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