PRESS RELEASE: UN RIGHTS CHIEF HAS WASTED HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO ASSESS UYGHUR GENOCIDE

PRESS RELEASE: UN RIGHTS CHIEF HAS WASTED HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO ASSESS UYGHUR GENOCIDE

Press Release – For Immediate Release
28 May 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]


The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) expresses its serious disappointment in the outcomes of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet’s, visit to China, including a trip to East Turkistan.
As the WUC and various other Uyghur and human rights groups rightly warned about, the visit has turned out to be a propaganda opportunity for China to whitewash its crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uyghur people.

“As expected, the High Commissioner has wasted a historic opportunity to investigate the Uyghur genocide and deliver justice to the Uyghur people”, WUC President, Dolkun Isa, stated. “The High Commissioner has ruined her office’s credibility by aligning with China’s wishes and conducting a visit that by no means adequately addressed justice for Uyghurs and accountability for those responsible”.

For years, including during the months ahead of the High Commissioner’s planned visit, the WUC and other rights groups have strongly highlighted that such a visit must meet certain conditions in order to be meaningful, such as unfettered access to East Turkistan and the ability to speak freely with Uyghur victims without fear of reprisal or intimidation for those witnesses. Furthermore, the WUC has consistently called for the release of the High Commissioner’s independent report on human rights violations in East Turkistan, which is still to happen.

Today’s press conference by the High Commissioner confirms that this was not an investigative visit into the atrocity crimes and genocide occurring in East Turkistan. Ms Bachelet stated that she was ‘’unable to assess’’ the full scale of the violations in the Vocational Education and Training Centers (VETCs). 

On the first day of her visit, Bloomberg reported that the High Commissioner indicated that her trip to China would not be an investigation, but would rather “promote, protect and respect human rights”. The day after that, the release of the Xinjiang Police Files, which show the extent and extremely repressive nature of China’s mass internment policies in East Turkistan, underscored exactly why such an investigation was needed. 

Following Ms Bachelet’s highly disappointing visit, the WUC strongly urges her office to release her independent assessment of the situation in East Turkistan, as a show of willingness to hold the Chinese government accountable for crimes against humanity and genocide being committed.