The Congressional-Executive Commission on China will hold a field hearing and town hall entitled “Diaspora Voices: Stories of Uyghur and Kyrgyz Persecution and Resilience.” The Commission will hear from members of Turkic ethnic groups who have fled repression in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) under Chinese government policies that amount to crimes against humanity and genocide, and who have found refuge and made their homes in the United States of America.
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA) serve as Chair and Cochair respectively of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China. They will be joined by Commissioner Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), whose Northern Virginia district has one of the largest communities of Uyghur-Americans in the United States. The Commission has a long bipartisan record documenting the atrocities being committed against ethnic minorities in the People’s Republic of China and championing legislation to address them such as the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. In October 2021, the Commission held a hearing on “Protection from Persecution: Establishing Humanitarian Pathways for Hong Kongers and Uyghurs,” including through the Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act, which would provide enhanced refugee protection for those fleeing the XUAR, and which is under consideration as Congress works to advance major China-related legislation by reconciling differences between the Senate-passed United States Innovation and Competition Act and the House-passed America COMPETES Act. RSVP here
Ovalbek Turdakun, an ethnic Kyrgyz Christian formerly detained in a mass internment camp in the XUAR
Kalbinur Gheni, sister of Renagul Gheni, a Uyghur political prisoner sentenced to 17 years in prison in the XUAR
Elfidar Iltebir, Secretary General of the Uyghur American Association