Weekly Brief, 19 May 2023
World Uyghur Congress Attends 2023 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy
From May 16-17, a World Uyghur Congress (WUC) delegation, together with camp survivor Kalbinur Sidik attended the 15th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. On May 17 both WUC President Dolkun Isa and camp survivor Kalbinur Sidik gave a speech in front of the Geneva Summit.
In her speech Kalbinur Sidik shared the horrors she witnessed inside the Chinese detention camp, where she was coerced and threatened into teaching mandarin to Uyghur women of all ages. Mrs. Sidik witnessed inhuman conditions inside the cells with no shower and limited toilet facilities as well as torture, gang rape by police officers and mass sterilization of all women aged 18-45. “I could talk for hours about what I witnessed in the camps. I can only say so much today – but let me be clear: the Chinese government is systematically torturing, sterilising, and murdering the people of East Turkistan”.
Currently Kalbinur resides in the Netherlands where her daughter lives. However, although living there, she continues to be threatened by the CCP. “The CCP won’t just ruin your life, it will go after your entire family too,” she said.
Shortly after, WUC President Dolkun Isa delivered a powerful speech saying that despite being a citizen of Germany, a country of freedom and democracy, he faced injustice. Mr. Isa shared his own experience of detention and continuous threats by the CCP for representing Uyghur people, who were forced to renounce their national identity and religious beliefs. He highlighted all the crimes committed by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people including separation of families, denouncing of their own religion, inability to speak in their mother language, slavery, and the demolition of mosques. However despite all the abuses the world is still staying silent. He concluded his speech by saying that the CCP is not only a threat to Uyghur people but it’s also a threat against humanity, democratic values, human rights and world politics. “I can’t tell you how my story ends. But I can tell you that the Chinese Communist Party is not only a threat to Uyghurs but a plague against humanity, our democratic values, our human rights – and world politics as we know it.”
World Uyghur Congress Deeply Concerned About Deepening China – Central Asia Ties Ahead of Summit
On May 17 the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) issued a press release ahead of the China-Central Asia Summit taking place on May 18-19 in Xi’an, China. The WUC alerts the Central Asian Governments’ responsibility to speak up, urging Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan to raise the atrocity crimes faced by Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Uzbek, Kyrgiz, Tadjiks and other Turkic people of East Turkistan during the Summit.
China’s promoted agenda of boosting economic and security ties as well as strengthening cooperation on counter-terrorism is seen to dominate the China – Central Asia Summit, which will be the first major diplomatic event hosted by China and taking place while Japan is hosting leading economies during the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima. In particular the Chinese propaganda narrative on ‘counter-terrorism’, is being used to criminalise legal forms of religious behaviour, leading to arbitrary detentions of millions of Uyghurs,Kazakhs, Uzbek, Kyrgiz and Tadjiks in concentration camps and subjecting them to systematic torture, rape, and forced labour.
“Central Asian Governments have followed suit on the brutal treatment and intimidation the Chinese government displays against Uyghurs and other Turkic people”, says WUC President Dolkun Isa. ‘’These neighbouring countries have failed to live up to their commitments and to save Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Uzbek, Kyrgiz and Tadjiks from the ongoing genocide being committed against them.’’
Civil Society Organisations and Trade Unions Sent Joint Letter Addressing Gaps in EU Forced Labour Regulation
On May 15 the WUC together with different Civil Society Organizations and trade unions issued a joint letter to Mr. Pascual Navarro Rios, the Secretary of State for the European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. The letter addressed the serious gaps in the EU Forced Labour Regulation, proposed by the EU Commission in September 2022 and raised concerns about the slow pace of engagement at the Council level, urging the upcoming Spanish Presidency to speed up the discussion.
The joint letter furthermore highlighted the narrow and flawed approach of only targeting product lines, failing to address forced labour in full production sites as well as not covering group-wide bans that could have a greater impact. In particular, the Forced Labour Regulation proposal does not explicitly address State-Imposed Forced Labour, as widely prevalent in East Turkistan.
World Uyghur Congress and Uyghur Human Rights Project Call for Renewed Action Following China’s CEDAW Review
On May 12 the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) together with the Uyghur Human Right Project (UHRP) issued a joint statement calling for renewed action by governments and UN agencies following the thorough questioning of the Chinese government’s blatant attack on the rights of Uyghur and other Turkic women by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The WUC Director of the Women’s Committee, Zumretay Arkin stated that the review proved the Chinese government’s denial of its crimes against the Uyghur population and urged the UN Committee to assess all the evidence which was collected by NGOs and researchers to demand accountability. The UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat added that despite the CCP using birth prevention, sterilisation and forced marriages against the Uyghur women, the Chinese government doesn’t even acknowledge these crimes.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) reviewed China’s human rights record in Geneva last week during their 85th session, asking pointed questions on a number of issues raised in parallel reports by UHRP and WUC to the Chinese government delegation. Despite numerous, critical questions from the Committee, the Chinese government delegation consistently refused to acknowledge any of the issues raised and provided long-winded responses with little relevance to the requests from the Committee.
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.