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

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

“This is a missed opportunity by Council members to hold China to the same standard as other countries,” said Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress. “The international community cannot fail the victims of the Uyghur genocide.”

“The road to justice is never an easy one,” said Omer Kanat, Uyghur Human Rights Project Executive Director. “The Chinese government’s singular goal has been to silence even a discussion of the issue—we cannot allow this to happen.”

In opposing the resolution, states have blatantly disregarded previously-accepted principles of objectivity, dialogue, impartiality, non-discrimination, and non-selectivity within the Human Rights Council.

This failure on the part of Council members does not preclude action by other UN agencies, the global business community, and governments, nor does it cast doubt on the findings from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which found that abuses faced by Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples “may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”

We urge UN experts and agencies to play an even stronger role to fill the gap left by states up until now.

A group of 45 experts expressed their support for findings of the report and urged the Council to hold a special session; to consider a mechanism to monitor the human rights situation in China; for the General Assembly or Secretary-General to consider the creation of a special envoy; and for UN Member States and UN agencies and business enterprises to “demand that China fulfils its human rights obligations.”

Notwithstanding today’s vote, we continue to urge action from the UN, governments, and the business community, calling on: 

  • The new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, to meaningfully address the issue, which his own office found “may constitute […] crimes against humanity,” and to present his predecessor’s report to the Human Rights Council;
  • The UN Special Procedures to consider evidence presented in the report and respond with recommendations for the UN and the international community;
  • The UN Office on Genocide Prevention to immediately conduct an assessment of the risks of atrocities—including genocide and crimes against humanity—targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, and to alert relevant actors and advocate for a proportionate response;
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) to take note of the report, include additional evidence of forced labour in its Committee of Experts annual report, and for delegates at the International Labour Conference to lodge a complaint against China for failure to uphold its obligations; 
  • UNESCO to urgently investigate cases of destruction or marginalisation of natural and cultural heritage, including UNESCO-listed heritage (Muqam, Karez well system, Manas, Meshrep, and the Tianshan mountain range);
  • The global business community to immediately cut all ties with entities assisting the government to carry out the atrocities, especially the programs of high-tech surveillance and state-imposed forced labour; and
  • Governments and international organizations to take urgent steps to protect Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples at imminent risk of refoulement, in line with a  joint statement from 22 refugee and human rights groups and 50 Uyghur organizations.

Signed:

  1. Alberta Uyghur Association
  2. Australian East Turkestan Association
  3. Australian Uyghur Association
  4. Australian Uyghur Tangritagh Women’s Association
  5. Austria Uyghur Association
  6. Belgium Uyghur Association
  7. Blue Crescent Humanitarian Aid Association
  8. Campaign for Uyghurs
  9. Center for Uyghur Studies
  10. Dutch Uyghur Human Rights Foundation
  11. East Turkistan Association of Canada
  12. East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association
  13. East Turkistan Entrepreneur Tradesmen and Industrialists Businessmen Association
  14. Eastern Turkistan Foundation
  15. East Turkistan Human Rights Watch
  16. East Turkistan Nuzugum Culture and Family Association
  17. East Turkestan Press and Media Association
  18. East Turkistan Research Institute
  19. East Turkistan Sports and Development Association
  20. East Turkistan Union in Europe
  21. East Turkestan Union of Muslim Scholars
  22. European East Turkistan Education Association
  23. Finnish Uyghur Culture Center
  24. Furkan Education and Cooperation Association
  25. Hira Education Association
  26. Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Science and lore Foundation
  27. Institute of China Studies
  28. Isa Yusup Alptekin Foundation
  29. Japan Uyghur Association
  30. Justice 4 Uyghurs
  31. Knowledge and Service Solidarity and Cooperation Association
  32. Norwegian Uyghur Committee
  33. Satuq Bugrakhan Foundation of Science and Civilization
  34. Society Union of Uyghur National Association
  35. Stop Uyghur Genocide Australia
  36. Stop Uyghur Genocide UK
  37. Sweden Uyghur Union
  38. Swiss Uyghur Association
  39. Taklamakan Uyghur Publish House
  40. Uighur Society “Ittipak” of the Kyrgyz Republic
  41. UK Uyghur Community
  42. Uyghur Academy 
  43. Uyghur Academy Australia
  44. Uyghur Academy Canada
  45. Uyghur Academy Europe
  46. Uyghur Academy Foundation
  47. Uyghur Academy Japan
  48. Uyghur Academy USA
  49. Uyghur American Association
  50. Uyghur Center for Human Rights and Democracy
  51. Uyghur Cultural and Educational Foundation
  52. Uyghur Cultural and Education Union in Germany
  53. Uyghur Hjelp
  54. Uyghur Human Rights Project
  55. Uyghur PEN Center
  56. Uyghur Projects Foundation
  57. Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund
  58. Uyghur Research Institute
  59. Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
  60. Uyghur Science and Civilization Research Foundation
  61. Uyghur Science and Education Foundation
  62. Uyghur Transitional Justice Database
  63. Uyghur Youth Union in Kazakhstan
  64. Victoria Uyghur Association
  65. World Uyghur Congress
  66. World Uyghur Congress Foundation