PRESS RELEASE: WUC Urges German Chancellor Merkel to Publicly Raise Mass Internment of Uyghurs During China Visit

Press Release – For immediate release
15 May 2018
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or

In anticipation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official visit to China from 24-25 May, the WUC strongly urges the German government to publicly raise China’s abysmal human rights record, especially the mass arbitrary detention of 1 million Uyghurs, when meeting with Chinese officials.

Chancellor Merkel will be visiting China on Thursday and Friday of this week to discuss political and economic issues with her counterparts in Beijing.

While there must be many important geopolitical and economic issues on the agenda, human rights issues must not be excluded. Different aspects of Germany’s relationship with China cannot be taken in isolation, but rather must be understood in the broader context, with human rights as a central component.

The massive repressive of Uyghurs by the Chinese government is motivated by and intertwined with China’s geopolitical ambitions and economic initiatives. The unprecedented levels of oppression that the Uyghur people are subjected to is linked to China’s need for ‘stability’ in the region for Xi Jinping’s flagship program, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. Since Xi Jinping has come to power and proposed this initiative, we have witnessed an unprecedented wave of repression against the Uyghur people.

Numerous world leaders have failed to raise human rights issues with their Chinese counterparts and to hold China accountable for its flagrant abuses. We urge Chancellor Merkel to break this trend by showing the courage and leadership to stand up to China and be a strong voice for human rights on the international stage.

This must not go on any longer. One million Uyghurs are being held in one of the largest mass arbitrary detentions in modern human history. They are being subjected to indoctrination aimed at eroding ties their unique Uyghur identity. The detainees are held in terrible conditions, reportedly subjected to torture and a number have already died in mysterious circumstances in Chinese custody.

WUC President Dolkun Isa stated: “I strongly urge Chancellor Merkel to raise the mass arbitrary detention of 1 million Uyghurs with Chinese officials. The Uyghur people are looking to Germany for support and to hold China accountable for this massive human rights violations.”

We urge Chancellor Merkel to raise the issue of these indoctrination camps with the Chinese government. China must know the world is watching what is happening to the Uyghur people and will not sit idly by while an entire people and culture is at risk of being totally assimilated.

How can trade deals be made with a government that is willing to imprison, demonize and repress an entire people because their existence is seen as a threat to Chinese economic and geopolitical aims. International politics should aspire to improve the situation of the oppressed and vulnerable, not be done at the expense of them.

Germany has been a strong voice on human rights concerns and the WUC appreciates the support Germany has given to the Uyghur community. However, we must call on Germany to do more to raise the Uyghur situation and human rights publicly in Beijing.

The situation is getting worse by the day. We urge Chancellor Merkel to speak up for the human rights of the Uyghur people before it is too late.