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Press Release: Volkswagen Group Annual General Assembly: Organizations Demand Action against Profits from Uyghur Genocide

Press Release: Volkswagen Group Annual General Assembly: Organizations Demand Action against Profits from Uyghur Genocide

Press release – for immediate release
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

On the occasion of tomorrow’s general assembly of Volkswagen (“VW”), the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), the Society for Threatened Peoples (“Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker”), and the umbrella organization of Critical Shareholders (“Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionären”) call on VW’s Supervisory Board and all stakeholders of the Volkswagen Group to take concrete measures to exclude profits stemming from the genocide of the Chinese government against the Uyghurs.

Volkswagen continues to maintain its controversial plant in the Uyghur region of China—the catastrophic human rights situation there is well documented. In internment camps, millions of Uyghurs and members of other Turkic peoples are indoctrinated, tortured and raped. Increasingly, factories are being built next to these camps where detainees are forced to perform forced labor at cheap wages. According to research by Sheffield Hallam University, several VW suppliers are involved in government labor transfer programs based on forced labor.

Haiyuer Kuerban, head of the Berlin office of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), appeals: “The Chinese government is conducting a social experiment on the Uyghurs that is unparalleled, and VW is in the middle of it. Everything suspected of being Uyghur, including the population, is to be wiped out, preferably in such a way that no one on the outside notices. Therefore, I appeal to you, Mr. Blume, dear Supervisory Board members and shareholders: take action to ensure that Volkswagen does not become a profiteer of the genocide against the Uyghurs. Act now!

Kendyl Salcito, executive director of the human rights organization NomoGaia and co-author of the Driving Force report, criticises, “Volkswagen has committed to respecting human rights in its operations, and its continued presence in the Uyghur region contradicts these commitments.” The abuses committed by VW’s regional partners are well-documented and staggering. No amount of profit should justify VW’s complicity in genocide.”

Hanno Schedler, consultant for genocide prevention and responsibility to protect at the Society for Threatened Peoples, demands, “VW’s major shareholder Lower Saxony must also take an unequivocal stand on the crimes that have been committed in East Turkistan for years. When it comes to genocide, the silence must end.”

A joint protest action and interviews before the VW annual general meeting will take place on:

Wednesday, May 10, 2023, from 8 to 11 a.m. in front of the City Cube, Messedamm 26, 14055 Berlin.

On the occasion of the annual general assembly of the Volkswagen Group, the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV), the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and the Critical Shareholders are organizing a human rights action under the motto “End Uyghur forced labor in VW supply chains!” in Berlin.

During the general assembly, Gheyyur Kuerban from the World Uyghur Congress and Kendyl Salcito, co-author of the report “Driving Force”, will speak and ask critical questions to VW. Both will be available for questions before and after the Annual General Meeting.

Countermotions of the Critical Shareholders’ Association with detailed points of criticism are available here:

Press contacts:

Hanno Schedler (Society for Threatened Peoples) at [email protected] or 0176-34994337.

Gheyyur Kuerban (World Uyghur Congress) at [email protected] or 0176-80569329.

Tilman Massa (Critical Shareholders) at [email protected], 0221-5995647 and 0173-7135237.