A group of Uyghurs gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in the US capital on Friday to demand China end its treatment against the Muslim minority.
More than 100 activists dressed in black shirts, lined up in the memorial area while speakers addressed the crowd.
Among them were Republican congresswoman Vicky Hartzler from Missouri, Democratic congressman Tom Suozzi from New York, Rabbi Jack Moline and Nury Turkel, vice-chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Hartzler said US companies doing business in China have an ethical and moral obligation to move their supply chains out of the Uyghur region.
Suozzi said he is with Uyghurs “100 percent” against China’s “genocide.”
Activists also demanded an end to the encampment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang province.
According to UN data, at least 1 million Uyghurs are held against their will in places Beijing calls “vocational training centers” and what the international community defines as “re-education camps.”
China does not provide information on how many camps are in Xinjiang, the number of people held and how many have returned to social life.
While the UN and other international organizations reiterated calls for the camps to be opened for inspection, China has allowed just a few designated centers to be partially viewed by a small number of foreign diplomats and journalists.
Several countries have accused China of ethnically cleansing Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Beijing has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the allegations as “lies and (a) political virus.”
Friday marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.