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Weekly Brief, 10 December 2021

Weekly Brief, 10 December 2021


Uyghur Tribunal Delivers Judgement, Finds China Commits Genocide
On December 9th, the Uyghur Tribunal announced its final judgement, ruling that the Chinese communist government’s atrocity crimes against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan amount to crimes against humanity and genocide. The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) welcomed this with great encouragement.

“This is a historic day for the Uyghur people”, WUC President, Dolkun Isa said. “The verdict recognizing  the Uyghur genocide by an independent body, which also provided the only venue for Uyghur and other survivors to speak and provide firsthand evidence to a quasi-judicial body, is a crucial step towards wider recognition by the international community. This is another urgent reminder for the UN and all State parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligation under international law to stop this ongoing genocide as well as hold accountable those who are responsible for these crimes.”

Countries Join Together in Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics 
On December 8th, the United Kingdom announced that it would not send any Ministers or other officials to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, effectively amounting to a diplomatic boycott. Similarly, the United States, Ireland, Canada, Scotland, Lithuania, Australia and New Zealand have also said they will not send any government representatives to the games in the face of China’s human rights atrocities. While the WUC has welcomed these announcements, it continues to call on other countries to follow suit. On December 8th, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Nicola Beer, called for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics. EU member states are expected to discuss the possibility of joining a diplomatic boycott soon.

New RSF Report: “The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China”
On December 7th, Reporters without Borders (RSF) published a new report, titled The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China, revealing China’s unprecedented campaign against freedom of information and expression, The report details Beijing’s strategy to control access to information within and beyond its borders, concluding with appeals and recommendations to Chinese authorities, governments, institutions, journalists and media outlets. At least 127 journalists (professional and non-professional) are currently detained by the regime. Seventy-one Uyghur journalists are currently detained, comprising more than half of the journalists imprisoned in China, the report found.

U.S. House Passes Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
On December 8th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a major piece of legislation to ban the import of goods made with forced labor of ethnic Uyghur in East Turkistan, moving the U.S. closer to holding Beijing accountable for widespread human rights abuses against the Uyghur people. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was passed with 428-1, and would ban imports from East Turkistan unless companies can prove to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that they are not made with forced labor. The bill now heads to the Senate, but it’s unclear when the chamber will take it up. The White House hasn’t said whether the president backs the bill, but added he shares concerns about Uyghur forced labor.

European Union Renews Sanctions on Four Chinese officials and One Entity
The European Union has renewed for another year the sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity over their involvement in the human rights abuses in East Turkistan against the Uyghur people. Zhu Hailun, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan, and Chen Mingguo were sanctioned by the EU in March over their complicity in the widespread human rights atrocities against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan. The entity sanctioned was the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) Public Security Bureau, which the EU said was responsible for “large-scale arbitrary detentions and degrading treatment” of the Uyghurs.

New UHRP Briefing “The Disappearance of Uyghur Intellectual and Cultural Elites: A New Form of Eliticide”
On December 8th, the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) published a new briefing, entitled The Disappearance of Uyghur Intellectual and Cultural Elites: A New Form of Eliticide. The briefing documents a minimum of 312 Uyghur, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz intellectual and cultural elites suspected to be detained or imprisoned as of late 2021. The intellectual and cultural elites interned, imprisoned, or otherwise forcibly disappeared since April 2016 come from a range of professional fields, including medical experts, university professors, editors, poets, and singers. The government’s attack on elites is a critical weapon in China’s multi-pronged and brutal campaign of social re-engineering in the Uyghur homeland. It is clear evidence of the government’s intent to destroy Uyghur cultural identity by placing limits over intellectual and cultural production.