Statement by Refugees International President Eric Schwartz on Secretary Pompeo’s Genocide Announcement

Please see below statement from Refugees International President Eric Schwartz:

“I welcome Secretary Pompeo’s statement on genocide against the Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang province, a view that was also articulated by the campaign of President-elect Biden. As reflected in numerous reports by journalists and scholars, the evidence of genocide is significant and substantial. The Secretary’s statement underscores the importance of appropriate international investigations and prosecutions of officials for the crime of genocide in Xinjiang.

At the same time, I’m baffled and deeply concerned that Secretary Pompeo has declined to make a similar finding of genocide against the state of Myanmar for its vicious mass attacks against the Rohingya population beginning in August 2017. That issue has also been in front of the Secretary, and there has been considerable support among his own experts at the State Department for such a finding of genocide and crimes against humanity. As Refugees International and a broad array of legal scholars have indicated, evidence of such crimes is clear and convincing.

The integrity and effectiveness of the U.S. government’s human rights policy depends on a willingness not only to speak truthfully, but to do so in a consistent manner. In the incoming Biden administration, such a willingness—reflected in a determination of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya—would help to defend the rights of all those subject to egregious abuses around the world.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Refugees International Director of Communications Sarah Sheffer at or +1 202 540 7029.