The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) sanctions last month on four U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commissioners, including Chair Nadine Maenza, Vice Chair Nury Turkel, and Commissioners Anurima Bhargava and James W. Carr, constitute yet another PRC affront against universal rights. The PRC has previously sanctioned three other current or former USCIRF commissioners, in addition to dozens of current or former U.S. officials and organizations promoting democracy and respect for human rights around the world – all of which are without merit. We remain undeterred by these actions, and we stand in solidarity with USCIRF and its staff. The United States is committed to defending human rights around the world and will continue to use all diplomatic and economic tools to promote accountability.
Beijing’s continued attempts to intimidate and silence those speaking out for human rights only contribute to the growing international scrutiny of the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang. The United States again calls on the PRC to cease its acts of transnational repression, including coercive practices of imprisoning and denying freedom of movement to family members of Uyghur American activists, including individuals serving the American people. These acts undermine the international rules-based order.
We support and stand with those who speak out on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief.