The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) sanctioned last month four US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commissioners, including Chair Nadine Maenza, Vice Chair Nury Turkel, and Commissioners Anurima Bhargava and James W. Carr. The Secretary of State reaffirmed that Washington remains undeterred by these actions, and stands in solidarity with USCIRF and its staff.
“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,” Blinken said in a statement.
He said that 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,” the Secretary of State said.
“We support and stand with those who speak out on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief,” he added.