Pelosi Meets With Uyghur Activists, Speaks Out Against Genocide

March 4, 2021 Updated: March 4, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently met with Uyghur advocates to discuss the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

Pelosi attended a virtual meeting on March 1 with “Campaign for Uyghur” (CFU), a Washington-based advocacy group, to be briefed on recent measures aimed at stopping the CCP’s repression, according to the group’s press release.

“If we don’t speak out clearly for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights any place in the world,” she wrote in a tweet after the meeting.

Dr. Rishat Abbas, a senior advisor to CFU told Pelosi in the meeting that “Uyghurs are facing unprecedented atrocities, so horrific that the United States and the Canadian Parliament declared China’s actions against the Uyghurs as genocide,” according to the press release.

The CCP has detained more than 1 million Uyghur and other Muslim minorities across a network of internment camps in the far western region of Xinjiang. Inside the camps, detainees are subjected to torture, rape, forced labor, and political indoctrination.

This year, the United States, Canadian and Dutch Parliaments have declared the CCP’s actions against the Uyghurs a genocide. Last year, 39 countries expressed grave concern about the regime’s abuses in Xinjiang.

The CCP has denied committing atrocities in the region, claiming that its campaign is aimed at combating “extremism.”

The Trump administration last year sanctioned several CCP officials and entities over the role in overseeing the persecution in Xinjiang and blacklisted a spate of Chinese companies that aid the CCP’s mass surveillance of the region’s ethnic Muslim population. It also banned all cotton and tomato product imports from Xinjiang, citing the CCP’s use for forced labor.

Last June, then-President Donald Trump also signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which authorizes the sanctioning of Chinese officials responsible for the repression campaign in Xinjiang.