The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday that the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned four Chinese Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau over human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority.
"The entity and officials are being designated for their connection to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which reportedly include mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious abuses targeting Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim population indigenous to Xinjiang, and other ethnic minorities in the region," the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act passed by Congress in 2016, which allows the federal government to invoke freezes on U.S. assets on Americans doing business with human rights violators anywhere in the world.
The officials sanctioned by the Treasury include:
- Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region's CCP Secretary Chen Quanguo
- Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region's former Deputy CCP Secretary Zhu Hailun
- Xinjiang Public Security Bureau Director and CCP Secretary Wang Mingshan
- Xinjiang Public Security Bureau former CCP Secretary Huo Liujun
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would also impose visa restrictions on Chen Quanguo, Zhu Hailun, and Wang Mingshan, prohibiting them and their families from entering the U.S.
"The United States will not stand idly by as the CCP carries out human rights abuses targeted Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention, and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith," Pompeo stated.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin echoed Pompeo's sentiments.
"The United States is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world," Mnuchin said.