MARCH 16, 2022 Human Rights First Commends DOJ Action on Transnational Repression
WASHINGTON D.C. – Human Rights First lauds today’s action by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which charged five defendants with various crimes involving harassing and spying on individuals in the United States for the secret police of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Human Rights First applauds the administration’s strong campaign against transnational repression; today’s indictments follow an indictment earlier this year by the DOJ charging a New York man for surveilling U.S.-based critics of the Egyptian government.
“National borders don’t always protect dissidents who have fled authoritarian rule at home, or even U.S. citizens exercising their right to criticize an abusive foreign government,” said Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen. “Today’s indictments are important components of a broader, targeted U.S. effort to stop transnational repression.”
Other key tools to protect against transnational repression include targeted sanctions. Through a global coalition of non-governmental organizations that it coordinates, Human Rights First has helped establish a Khashoggi Ban Working Group to ensure that the U.S. government uses such tools to hold accountable those who surveil journalists, harass activists, or otherwise threaten those exercising their rights. Named for the murdered journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, the Khashoggi Ban is a U.S. government policy to bar individuals from the United States who engage in “serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities.”