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Blinken introduces the report. Photo: Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The U.S. accused China of carrying out an ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in an annual human rights report released on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Introducing the report, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said President Biden would put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy in dealing with friends and foes alike. He also announced that an effort to redefine human rights by his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, would be disbanded.

  • Pompeo’s “Commission on Unalienable Rights” had elevated values like religious freedom and over others, like LGBTQ and reproductive rights. Blinken said the Biden administration would “repudiate” such "unbalanced statements.”
  • He also acknowledged that the U.S. had “work to do at home” on human rights, including in combating systemic racism, but would face those challenges “in the daylight,” unlike autocratic countries.

What they’re saying: Blinken highlighted human rights violations last year by the governments of Russia, Uganda, Venezuela and Belarus, as well as abuses by the warring parties in Ethiopia and Yemen.

  • “The trendlines on human rights continue to move in a negative direction… in every region of the world,” Blinken said.

Zoom in: The report finds that more than one million mainly Muslim Uyghurs were held in detention camps in China’s Xinjiang region, with some subjected to forced sterilization, rape, forced labor and torture.

  • Another two million Uyghurs were “subjected to daytime-only ‘re-education training,’” according to the report.
  • The report notes that the camps were expanded in 2020, and the abuses are ongoing.
  • Of note: The Trump administration, in its final days in office, declared China's actions against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang a "genocide."

Go deeper: Read the full State Department report.

Go deeper

FIFA's corruption and authoritarian regime problems

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Over the decades, several authoritarian regimes have hosted the World Cup, using the global spotlight to burnish their image. And FIFA, which is plagued by corruption, continues to give World Cup bids to countries with records of human rights abuses.

Why it matters: The Chinese government's ongoing genocide against Uyghurs may not stand in the way of Beijing's goal of hosting the World Cup by 2030.

22 mins ago - Health

Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot on live television

President Biden received a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine booster shot on live television on Monday, while also urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended Pfizer booster shots for millions of people, including those 65 years and older and individuals at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, wins unconditional release

John Hinckley Jr. sitting on the back seat of a car in 1981. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate former President Reagan in 1981.

State of play: U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington ruled that Hinckley can be freed from all court supervision in 2022 if he remains mentally stable and continues to follow rules that were imposed on him after he was released from a Washington mental health facility in 2016 to live in Virginia, AP reports.