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Weekly Brief, 1 December

Weekly Brief, 1 December
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NEWS

World Uyghur Congress Attends 12th Session of UN Business and Human Rights Forum
From November 27-29, the World Uyghur Congress, as part of the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region, attended the 12th session of the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, which took place in Geneva. Together with colleagues from Anti-Slavery International, the Campaign for Uyghurs, and the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), the WUC attended various panels, as well as the pre-session on China’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The WUC’s Director of Global Advocacy, Zumretay Arkin, spoke on behalf of the Coalition on the rights of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan and gave concrete recommendations for China to end the systematic forced labour of Uyghur people. “Companies must act immediately to disengage or otherwise risk contributing to the persecution. Prevention, medication, remediation and use of leverage are not possible in this climate,” said Ms. Arkin. 

Furthermore, during a high-level event on utilising the UPR to highlight and respond to atrocity crimes in East Turkistan, Ms Arkin, took the floor to explain how China’s counterterrorism framework is facilitating systematic violations and abuses in East Turkistan, including mass incarceration and the destruction of Uyghur cultural heritage.

World Uyghur Congress Attends Panel Discussion on China’s Growing Influence in the EU
On November 30, the World Uyghur Congress and the Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU) co-organized a panel discussion on China’s growing influence in the European Union, hosted by European Parliament Vice-President Pina Picierno. The event was also attended by MEP Engin Eroglu. During the panel discussion, World Uyghur Congress President Dolkun Isa spoke about his experience with transnational repression in Europe and offered various recommendations to the EU. “Transnational repression not only violates Uyghurs’ rights but also fosters a climate of surveillance and fear. It significantly encroaches on the sovereignty of democratic nations. It violates the rights of citizens while also constituting a global threat to democratic values, the rule of law, and state security.”

Following the panel discussion, the WUC, together with the Belgian Uyghur Association, met with Vice-President Pina Picierno to discuss the rights of Uyghur women and the gender-based violence they face at the hands of the Chinese government. 

World Uyghur Congress President Gives an Interview About the Uyghur Genocide
On November 30, the World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa, was interviewed by Canadian lawyer and broadcaster Stephen LeDrew on the Uyghur genocide. During the conversation, Mr. Isa highlighted the Chinese government’s long-term repression against the Uyghur people in East Turkistan since the occupation of the region in 1949. He said that since that time, China has been applying discrimination and assimilation policies against the local population. However, in 2014, when the current Chinese president Xi Jinping came to power, the situation in the region significantly deteriorated. Nowadays, over a million Uyghurs have been arbitrarily detained in concentration camps where they are subject to torture, rape, forced labour and forced sterilization. “China is trying to keep all the reality from the free world and keep it in a black box with no communication,”  stated Mr. Isa.

An Op-Ed by Special Advisor to Corporate Accountability Lab and an Advocacy Lead at the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region
On November 27, the Special Advisor to Corporate Accountability Lab, Dean Pinkert and Advocacy Lead at the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region, Charlotte Tate, wrote an Op-Ed for the Sourcing Journal on the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act and the Uyghur forced labour. The experts have highlighted the significance of the UFLPA in fighting against involuntary labour in East Turkistan. Due to the act, CBP officials have banned thousands of shipments from up to 10 countries from entering the U.S. border because of their supply chain connections. This led to a 90% decline in the import of goods from the Uyghur region. Furthermore, this legislation provides a high level of traceability for each product and provides full documentation to CBP on each link in these chains. The experts concluded that the UFLPA has already started showing the first results. 

The Volkswagen Audit Has Put Pressure on Everyone Involved
On November 23, Table Media China published an article on the upcoming audit report of the Volkswagen Group. The results of an investigation can either lead to an increase in the number of shares of the company if their credibility is verified, or it could bring long-term negative consequences to the status of the company. The reputation of VW has already been damaged after the May protest at the company’s general meeting. This led to an investment withdrawal by the Deka fund company with a managed share volume of over 430 billion euros. It criticised VW for its lack of transparency. Furthermore, the American finance company Morgan Stanley Capital International has red-flagged VW over the allegations of profiting from the Uyghur forced labour according to new regulations in the USA to do so. 

PARTICIPATE

World Uyghur Congress is Hiring
We seek a Global Advocacy Officer to join our dynamic team advancing Uyghur human rights globally. The application deadline is 15 December. More details can be found here. 

Ask Volkswagen to Close its Plant in East Turkistan
Despite growing evidence of the ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs, Volkswagen continues to operate in East Turkistan. The World Uyghur Congress is collecting signatures to demand Volkswagen to close down its plant in Urumqi. Please sign here!

Support Uyghurs’ Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity Case in Argentina
The World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur Human Rights Project have launched a criminal case in the courts of Argentina in relation to the international crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity being committed against the Uyghur people. Please donate and be a part of this historic case.