WEEKLY BRIEF, 18 NOVEMBER

NEWS

World Leaders Speak with Xi Jinping at G20 Summit, Raise Uyghur Human Rights

This week, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia, several world leaders met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in person for the first time since he secured a third term in power in October and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. These were also the first face-to-face meetings between Xi and most democratic G20 leaders since the release of the UN Uyghur Report and the wider global outcry over the Uyghur genocide. According to a readout of the White House, U.S. President Biden, expressed “concerns about PRC practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly.”

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Press Release: Human Rights Organisations Criticising Scholz Trip to China

Press Release – For immediate release
04 November 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

English:

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), the Tibet Initiative Germany (TID), Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. and the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) expressed their criticism of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s trip to China on Friday. At the press conference of Scholz and China’s Premier Li Keqiang, the journalists present were not given any opportunity to ask questions.

 “We had already criticized in our letter to the Chancellor that he had failed to coordinate with his European partners, instead flying to Beijing almost immediately after Xi Jinping’s coronation. Had he still waited to coordinate with his partners and gone together with them, this would have been an important signal to Beijing that Germany was moving away from its focus on bilateral relations. China’s leadership can now continue with its policy of focusing on bilateral relations with other countries. Europe needs to be more united, especially on human rights issues. Here, Scholz could have sent an important signal, and the chancellor failed to do so,” said Hanno Schedler, STP expert on genocide prevention and responsibility to protect.

Already in the run-up to the China trip, criticism was voiced that the delegation accompanying Scholz during his meeting with Xi Jinping included only business representatives and no human rights experts. Even during the press conference, the topic of human rights was only briefly touched upon. “It is extremely disappointing to state that the genocide of the Uyghurs is due to a different understanding of human rights. Germany must now act together with its international partners to hold the Chinese government accountable,” said Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress. 

The Chancellor’s statement did not mention human rights violations in Tibet or Hong Kong. “It is disappointing that the Chancellor did not take the opportunity in his public statement to speak up for human rights and democracy defenders. Staying in dialogue with China on human rights crimes is not enough. Over 800,000 Tibetan children sit in colonial boarding schools where they are re-educated to be obedient Han Chinese* and Tibetan identity is erased,” said Tenzyn Zöchbauer, Executive Director of the Tibet Initiative Germany (TID).

Amy Siu, Secretary General of Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. commented, “We are also extremely disappointed that the Chancellor has not spoken out on Hong Kong. Human rights violations in Hong Kong and other regions must finally be followed by concrete consequences. ‘Staying in the conversation’ allows the Chinese government to avoid the consequences of its actions.”

The organizations demanded that the German government’s soon-to-be-released China strategy must include a shift from a German to a European China policy that places a stronger focus on human rights. Chancellor Olaf Scholz must meet in the coming weeks with representatives of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and the Chinese democracy movement who have fled to Germany because of the persecution.

Contact:

Tenzyn Zöchbauer, [email protected], 0151 2502 1295
Hanno Schedler, [email protected], 0551-49906-15
Amy Siu, [email protected], 07723-8739633
Gheyyur Kuerban, [email protected],  0176 805693


Deutsch:

Der Weltkongress der Uiguren (WUC), die Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TID), Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. und die Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) haben sich am Freitag kritisch zur China-Reise von Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz geäußert. Bei der Pressekonferenz von Scholz und Chinas Premierminister Li Keqiang hatten die anwesenden Journalistinnen und Journalisten keine Gelegenheit, Fragen zu stellen. „Bereits in unserem Brief an den Bundeskanzler hatten wir kritisiert, dass er es versäumt hat, sich mit seinen europäischen Partnern abzustimmen, anstatt fast direkt nach der Krönung Xi Jinpings nach Peking zu fliegen. Abgestimmt mit ihnen zu fahren, hätte das Peking signalisiert, dass Deutschland sich von seinem Fokus auf bilaterale Beziehungen löst. Chinas Führung kann weiter nach dem Prinzip ‚teile und herrsche‘ in der EU agieren. Dabei müsste Europa gerade in Menschenrechtsfragen geeinter auftreten. Hier hätte Scholz ein wichtiges Signal setzen können, und das hat der Kanzler versäumt”, sagte Hanno Schedler, GfbV-Referent für Genozidprävention und Schutzverantwortung am heutigen Freitag in Göttingen.

Im Vorfeld der Chinareise wurde bereits kritisiert, dass Scholz zu seinem Treffen mit Xi Jinping ausschließlich Wirtschaftsdelegierte mitgenommen hat. Die Zivilgesellschaft musste zu Hause bleiben. Auch während der Pressekonferenz wurde das Thema der Menschenrechte nur kurz angeschnitten. „Den Genozid an den Uigur*innen als unterschiedliche Auffassung von Menschenrechten abzutun ist äußerst enttäuschend. Deutschland muss nun mit seinen internationalen Partnern Maßnahmen ergreifen, um die chinesische Regierung zur Verantwortung zu ziehen“, so Dolkun Isa, Präsident des Weltkongresses der Uiguren.

Im Statement des Bundeskanzlers kamen weder die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Tibet, noch in Hongkong zur Sprache. „Es ist eine Enttäuschung, dass der Kanzler in seinem öffentlichen Statement nicht die Chance genutzt hat, sich für Menschenrechts- und Demokratieengagierte stark zu machen. Zu Menschenrechtsverbrechen mit China im Gespräch zu bleiben ist zu wenig. Über 800.000 tibetische Kinder sitzen in kolonialen Internaten, in denen sie zu folgsamen Han umerzogen werden, damit die tibetische Identität ausgelöscht wird”, sagte Tenzyn Zöchbauer, Geschäftsführerin der Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TID).

Amy Siu, Generalsekretärin von Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. sagte dazu, „Wir sind zudem überaus enttäuscht, dass der Kanzler sich nicht zu Hongkong geäußert hat. Auf die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Hongkong und anderen Regionen müssen endlich konkrete Konsequenzen folgen. ‚Im Gespräch [zu] bleiben‘ erlaubt der chinesischen Regierung, sich der Konsequenzen ihres Handelns zu entziehen.”

Die Organisationen forderten, dass die bald erscheinende China-Strategie der Bundesregierung eine Verlagerung der deutschen zu einer europäischen China-Politik beinhalten muss, welche einen stärkeren Fokus auf Menschenrechte legt. Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz muss sich in den kommenden Wochen mit Vertreter*innen von Uigur*innen, Tibeter*innen, Hongkonger*innen und der chinesischen Demokratiebewegung treffen, die wegen der Verfolgung durch die Kommunistische Partei nach Deutschland geflüchtet sind.

Kontakt:

Tenzyn Zöchbauer, [email protected], 0151 2502 1295
Hanno Schedler, [email protected], 0551-49906-15
Amy Siu, [email protected], 07723-8739633
Gheyyur Kuerban, [email protected],  0176 805693

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Weekly Brief, 07 October 2022

NEWS

UN Human Rights Council Votes Down a Debate on the Human Rights Situation in East Turkistan
On October 8th, the U.N. rights council voted down a resolution to hold a debate about human rights abuses by China against Uyghurs and other Muslims in East Turkistan. 17 Members of the Human Rights Council voted in favour, 11 abstained, and 19 countries voted against. This is only the second time in the council’s 16-year history that a motion has been rejected and is seen by observers as a setback to both accountability efforts and the credibility of the Human Rights Council itself.

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Press Release: Uyghur Organizations from 20 Countries Call for an End to Impunity for China

Press Release – For immediate release
06 October 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

A group of 66 Uyghur organizations from 20 countries is calling on UN agencies and experts to take concrete action according to their mandates, following the failure of the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution committing to a debate on the Uyghur issue.

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Weekly Brief, 30 September

NEWS

Resolution at UN Human Rights Council Calls for Debate on Uyghur Abuses
On September 26th, Reuters reported that the US, UK and like-minded countries are calling for a debate at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on the human rights situation in East Turkistan. To this end, a draft resolution has been tabled at the current HRC session, further sponsored by Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway. If approved by a majority vote, the debate would take place during the council’s next session that begins in February 2023. This would be the first time that China’s human rights atrocities, including the Uyghur genocide, feature on the U.N. rights body’s agenda in its 16-year history. It would further be a historic and long-overdue first step towards accountability and justice for Uyghur victims.

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Press Release: Uyghur Groups Urge UN Member States to Vote “Yes” on Steps Towards Accountability

Press Release – For immediate release
26 September 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

A group of 66 Uyghur organizations from 20 countries welcome a draft resolution tabled at the Human Rights Council calling for a debate on the Uyghur issue, and urges governments to support its passage.

“The international community must remember its obligation to end atrocity crimes like genocide and crimes against humanity,” said Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress. “Justice must be served.”

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Press Release: WUC Calls on Japanese Government to Take Meaningful Action in Response to the Uyghur Genocide

Press Release – For immediate release
26 September 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is calling upon the Japanese government to take meaningful and tangible action in response to the strong findings of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) concerning the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan.

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