Weekly Brief, 26 November 2021
WUC President Dolkun Isa Participates in Halifax Security Forum and Three-Day Uyghur Rights Advocacy Event in Canada
Last week, WUC President Dolkun Isa spoke at the 2021 edition of the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, where he highlighted China’s threat to the rules-based international order and what measures the international community should take.
From 23-25 November, Mr. Isa further attended a three-day event in Ottawa, organized by the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) and the Uyghur community in Canada. As part of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy event, Mr. Isa met with various Parliament members, opposition leaders, government officials, and ministers, including the Hon.Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Hon.Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative party, to discuss issues such as the Uyghur human rights crisis and a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Marriott Hotel Apologizes to WUC over Refusal to Host Conference
The Marriott hotel in Prague, Czech Republic, which refused to host the World Uyghur Congress’ (WUC) 7th General Assembly on grounds of “political neutrality” earlier this month, has apologized to the WUC by email. While the WUC appreciates the apology, it said it expects Marriott to issue a public statement to demonstrate their respect for diversity, inclusion & freedom of expression.
Two Japanese Companies Stop Sourcing from East Turkistan over Uyghur Forced Labour Concerns
On November 22nd, NHK News reported that two major Japanese apparel companies have decided to stop sourcing their cotton from East Turkistan, over concerns of Uyghur forced labour. While Sanyo Shokai said it will not use cotton from the region for its clothing starting with the lines for next spring and summer, TSI Holdings said it stopped using Xinjiang cotton in items for this autumn and winter and has no immediate plans to resume. The WUC has applauded their decisions, and has urged other companies worldwide to exit the Uyghur Region, and to sign the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region’s Call to Action.
UK Announces Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing 2022 Olympics
On November 25th, the United Kingdom appeared to signal it would follow a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Following a question in the House of Commons by Iain Duncan Smith MP, House Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said there were “no tickets booked” for British ministers. This statement followed global outrage over the disappearance of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, after she had accused China’s former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli of sexually assaulting her. The Chinese government’s attempts to cover up the incident, which once again highlighted its disregard for human rights, activists including WUC’s Zumretay Arkin urged Olympic athletes to stand together with Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, and others against the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Germany’s New Government Agreement Mentions Uyghur Rights Abuses
On 26 November, the negotiating German coalition parties announced a deal to form a government, with the coalition text signalling a tougher stance on China. Among other commitments, the coalition text for the first time mentions human rights abuses against Uyghurs, committing to “address clearly China’s human rights abuses, particularly in Xinjiang”. Moreover, the government text mentions its support of the European Union’s proposed import ban on forced labour products, and says that the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) “cannot currently” be ratified. The WUC welcomes the coalition agreement, and expresses its hope that the new German government will follow up on its commitments.
Global Campaign against Candidacy of Hu Binchen (PRC) for INTERPOL Executive Committee
From 23-25 November, the INTERPOL General Assembly took place, which also featured the elections for its Executive Committee. In the weeks leading up to the General Assembly, parliamentarians and activists in exile raised global alarm over the candidacy of Hu Binchen, a senior Chinese public security official, saying his election would put the wellbeing and safety of exiled Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, and Chinese human rights defenders at even higher risk. Regrettably, INTERPOL announced the election of Hu Binchen on November 25th, which was received with grave concerns by legislators and rights activists worldwide.
Additional Uyghur Tribunal Hearing and Delivery of Judgement
Tomorrow, Saturday 27 November, at 13:00 GMT. The Uyghur Tribunal is hearing new evidence from Dr. Adrian Zenz and Professor Ton Zwaan. The hearing will be held virtually and live-streamed here. Following tomorrow’s hearing, the Uyghur Tribunal will deliver its judgement on December 9th, from 08:30 – 12:00 GMT. The event will also be live streamed online, and tickets for in-person attendance are available here.