Weekly Brief, 06 May 2022

NEWS

WUC Delegation Visits Norway
This week, a WUC delegation and the Norwegian Uyghur Committee successfully conducted an advocacy visit to Oslo, Norway. WUC President Dolkun Isa and Program & Advocacy Manager Zumretay Arkin were received by former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide and MP Dag. I. Ulstein, to discuss what the Norwegian Government and Parliament can do for Uyghurs. Positive meetings were held with other groups including Amnesty International, PEN Norway, five political parties and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Furthermore, on May 4th, WUC staff and a representative from the Uyghur Cultural and Education Union, Saida Abdulmutalipova, met with the Second Mayor of Munich. They shared insights on the current situation in East Turkistan and the challenges Uyghurs in the diaspora are facing. 

China Coerces Uyghurs into Silence during UN Visit to East Turkistan
On May 2nd, Radio Free Asia reported that ahead of the visit by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to East Turkistan and China, Uyghurs are being warned by Chinese officials not to disclose “state secrets”. Authorities have asked locals not to take calls from unknown numbers, and to avoid answering questions from UN officials, especially about the internment camps.

With such stories getting out, the WUC remains concerned that Bachelet’s visit could assist the CCP in further whitewashing its genocide in East Turkistan. In a joint statement on May 3rd, the WUC joined over 60 human rights organisations condemning the lack of transparency regarding the High Commissioner’s report on the situation and urged its publication.

Researchers Find Uyghur Cotton in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss Garments
On May 5th, the Guardian reported that German researchers have found traces of East Turkistan cotton in clothes from Adidas, Puma, and Hugo Boss. The researchers found the isotopic signature of East Turkistan cotton, which “can be differentiated from cotton sourced from other countries and even other Chinese regions”, leaving no doubt that they are tightly linked to forced labour in East Turkistan. 

These findings cast doubts over the commitment by these brands to review their supply chains and rid them of Uyghur forced labour. For instance, Hugo Boss released a statement on the Uyghur region “recognising the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labour Organisation’s Conventions”. Puma and Adidas published general remarks on their anti-slavery protocols.

President Biden Meets with Ziba Murat
On May 3rd,  US President Joe Biden met with Ziba Murat, daughter of imprisoned Uyghur doctor Gulshan Abbas, to listen to her story. The invitation by the President came after she published an opinion article in Newsweek, where she asked Biden’s administration to step up pressure against China’s stance on East Turkistan. 

Many American officials have embraced the case of Gulshan Abbas, including US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Representative Thomas Suozzi. On May 3rd, US Ambassador to the UN told Gulshan Abbas’ family that she will be starting discussions with Chinese officials on this case. 

 

PARTICIPATE

WUC To Organise Historic Protest in Geneva, Switzerland
On may 13th, the WUC and other Europe-based Uyghur organisations will organise a protest in Geneva, Switzerland. In partnership with Tibetan and other international human rights organisations, the WUC will call upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to release without further delay her report on the situation in East Turkistan and consult Uyghur groups in the diaspora and camp survivors ahead of her planned visit, next month. Practical info here.

Asking for support for the demonstration, the WUC has launched a fundraising campaign to help rent buses, provide gas, food and drinks for participants.

Event on Uyghur Forced Labour in European Parliament
On May 10th, join the WUC and the Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labour for a public event, discussing which steps are needed to end complicity in Uyghur Forced Labour.

  • May 10th, 2022
  • 17:00 – 18:00 (CET)
  • European Parliament, Brussels

Registration here.