WEEKLY BRIEF, 13 DECEMBER 2020
International Human Rights Day
On December 10th, which marked the 72nd year of International Human Rights Day, the World Uyghur Congress reiterated in its press release the importance of human rights and democratic freedoms for a better and more just world. On this occasion, the WUC highlighted the deterioration of the situation in East Turkistan and the systematic violations of the fundamental rights of the Uyghur people. Today, the Uyghur people are facing genocide at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), yet there have been very few concrete steps to meaningfully resolve this crisis.
In order to call for an end of the Uyghur Genocide, the Uyghur community gathered with its allies in several cities like Munich, Berlin and London to protest in front of the Chinese Consulates and Embassies.
HRW Published New Leaked Dokuments “The Aksu List”
On December 9, HRW published a report on how big data targets Uyghurs and other Turkic Peoples in East Turkistan. A leaked list of over 2,000 detainees from Aksu prefecture, which was provided to HRW, provides further insight in the Chinese government’s big data policing program, the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP). This big data program is used by the Chinese authorities to arbitrarily select Uyghurs and other groups for possible detention. The Aksu List, like the Karakax list, gives insight into the Chinese bureaucracy. It also shows that Uyghurs are guilty until proven innocent. Furthermore, it reveals that based on the level of obedience, people are subjected to three different levels of “strictness”: “common management”, “strict management” and “strong management”.
Huawai Tested Facial Recognition Software to Detect Uyghurs
On December 8, the Washington Post reported that Huawei has tested facial recognition software that could recognize Uyghurs and send an “Uyghur alarm” to the Chinese authorities. The research organization IPVM discovered an internal document signed by Huawei representatives which revealed that the company has been working since 2018 in cooperation with the start-up Megvii on an artificial-intelligence camera system to estimate each person’s age, sey and ethnicity. In response to these allegations, football star Antoine Griezmann announced that he ended his partnership with Huawei.
Adoption of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime
On December 8th, the WUC welcomed the adoption of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime by the Council of the European Union. Like the U.S. Magnitsky Act, the new sanctions regime will allow the European Union (EU) to target individuals, bodies, and entities who are responsible for, or otherwise associated with, serious human rights violations, irrespective of where they occur. This is of major importance for the Uyghur people, as for the first time, the EU possesses a concrete mechanism to hold perpetrators of the atrocities against Uyghurs to account. Whereas the EU has repeatedly voiced its concern over the Uyghur crisis, it now has the possibility to take concrete action and hold those responsible to account. As a next step,, the EU should now use this new sanctions regime to target Chen Quanguo, one of the main architects of a police state in East Turkistan, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a state-owned economic and paramilitary organization responsible for the systematic repression of Uyghurs.
UK Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill
On December 8, the U.K. House of Lords voted for a Genocide amendment to the Trade Bill. This means that in the future, Ministers will be required to revoke trade agreements if the UK high court has serious genocide concerns, and to undertake a human rights impact assessment for any trade deal. The amendment of the Trade Bill had become more compelling in the light of mounting evidence which shows that China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs.
Uyghur Family reunites after three-years in Australia
On December 10, Sadam Abdusalamu reunited with his wife Nadila Wumaier and their three-year old son Lufty in Sydney, after three years of diplomatic negotiations with the Chinese authorities. After their marriage in East Turkistan in 2016, Ms Wumaier was not allowed to accompany her husband to Australia. When she gave birth the same year, the Chinese government denied a visa to Mr. Abdusalam to see his newborn son. While Ms. Wumaier was waiting to be able to leave for Australia, she was put under house arrest.
Tell Zara: Stop Profiting From Uyghur Forced Labour
Spanish-based retailer Zara, among many giant corporations companies, claims to prohibit forced labour in its supply chains, yet offers no credible explanation as to how it can do this considering their links to East Turkistan where all goods are likely to be tainted by forced labour. By continuing to operate in and maintaining links to the region, fashion brands like these are complicit in what many have widely recognized as crimes against humanity. Please sign the petition here!