US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday virtually met Uyghur internment camp survivors, and relatives of individuals detained in Xinjiang, and expressed Washington’s commitment to pressure China to halt ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs minority.
The State Department said Blinken wanted to hear directly from the seven former detainees, relatives of others and advocate about conditions that they and the Uyghur community more broadly face.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Early this year, the US became the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as “genocide".
Recently, US State Department released its 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) placing China among the worst countries in human trafficking following its increasing repression of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
The report accused China of using surveillance technologies and criminal charges to abduct and detain more than one million Muslims, including Uyghurs, ethnic Hui, ethnic Kazakhs, and more, in up to 1,200 state-run internment camps.
The United States will continue to place human rights at the forefront of our China policy and will always support the voices of activists, survivors, and family members of victims who courageously speak out against these atrocities, said the spokesperson.