Press Release: Historic Joint Protest in Geneva Ahead of UN Visit to China
On May 13th, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), together with over 20 Uyghur, Tibetan and international human rights organisations, will hold a joint protest in Geneva, Switzerland. The participants will call upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to release without further delay her report on the situation in East Turkistan and consult camps survivors, Uyghur groups, Tibetan and Hong Kong groups in the diaspora ahead of her planned visit to China.
As the High Commissioner and her team are preparing for a visit to East Turkistan, three and a half years after “unfettered access” was requested, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and other groups remain deeply concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding the terms of the visit, as well as the incomprehensible delay in publishing the High Commissioner’s long-awaited report. Over the past months, several joint letters and statements have called for the release of the report and layed out core preconditions for a credible and independent visit to China. These calls were once again reiterated recently in a letter addressed to Ms. Bachelet by over 60 Uyghur, Tibetan, Hong Konger, and other human rights organisations. Last week, over 200 groups have called for the postponement of the visit, given the High Commissioner’s failure to meet basic conditions prior to the visit.
In the absence of clear and satisfactory answers from the High Commissioner and her office to these demands, the joint protest on May 13th will be an occasion for affected groups to raise their voices in unity in front of the United Nations. Speeches will be held by community leaders, Members of Parliament, and camp survivors, and Uyghur groups will attempt to hand over a letter to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), specifying their demands for a credible visit.
The details protest are as follows:
May 13th, 2022
09:00 – 10:00 Gathering at the Broken Chair
10:00 – 11:00 March towards Palais Wilson
11:00 – 13:00 Protest in front of Palais Wilson
13:00 End of the protest
Belgian Uyghur Association
Dutch Uyghur Foundation
East Turkistan Union in Europe
Finnisch East Turkistan Union
Geneva for Uyghurs
Norwegian Uyghur Committee
Netherlands Uyghur Association
Stiftung der Uyghuren von Nederlanden
Strasbourg for Ouïghours
Svenska Uigur Union
UK Uyghur Community
Uyghur Association in France
Uyghur Association in Switzerland
Uyghur Culture and Education Union