Weekly Brief, 23 September

NEWS

WUC Calls for Action at the 51st Session of the UN Human Rights Council
In the week of September 19th, a World Uyghur Congress (WUC) delegation visited Geneva, where the 51st Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is taking place.

On September 19th, the WUC organised a side-event, titled “Voices for Chinese Government Accountability”,  with ​​various other civil society partners to discuss ways to hold China accountable at the HRC.

On September 20th, the WUC, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Internationals Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV), and the Uyghur Tribunal hosted a press conference in Geneva. The panel discussed the Uyghur Tribunal’s findings, which appended its December 2021 judgement incorporating nearly 300 additional pages of historical background, definitions and evidence, and the OHCHR report. Panellists urged the UN and the international community to take urgent action.

Ahead of the press conference, Uyghur communities from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland came together to Geneva to protest in front of the UN asking for the international community to take tangible action to address the human rights atrocities against the Uyghur people.

WUC’s Program and Advocacy Manager, Zumretay Arkin, further participated in a UN side event hosted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Modern Slavery, Tomoya Obokata, Anti Slavery International, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Contemporary Form of Slavery, and Minority Rights Group.

On September 22nd, Reuters reported that the Chinese government has said it is readying “counter-measures” in case action is taken at the UN HRC to address its human rights abuses in East Turkistan.

G7 Statement at UN General Assembly Raises OHCHR Report
On September 22nd, at the UN General Assembly in New York, German Foreign Minister Baerbock delivered a statement on behalf of G7 countries, welcoming the OHCHR’s Uyghur report and taking note that the PRC´s violations may constitute “international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity”. The G7 committed to continue to address these issues with partners, civil society and the international community. They underlined the importance of the United Nations following up on the OHCHR report. In line with China’s obligations under national and international law, they further urged China to fully respect human rights.

Uyghur Activists Stage Hunger Strike Outside White House
On September 20th, Uyghur activists including the Uyghur American Association and camp survivors started a hunger strike outside the White House, demanding the U.S. government hold Beijing accountable for human rights abuses, as world leaders gather for a UN summit in New York. “What we want is to raise awareness about the starvation [and] genocide in our homeland East Turkistan…and also we appeal to the US government to introduce a resolution at the UN Rights Council as soon as possible,” said one activist. On the third day of the hunger strike, Congressman Chris Smith and the former United States Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council, KelleyCurrie, visited the hunger strike to show support.

PARTICIPATE 

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 historical case.

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.