Weekly Brief, 30 September
Resolution at UN Human Rights Council Calls for Debate on Uyghur Abuses
On September 26th, Reuters reported that the US, UK and like-minded countries are calling for a debate at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on the human rights situation in East Turkistan. To this end, a draft resolution has been tabled at the current HRC session, further sponsored by Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway. If approved by a majority vote, the debate would take place during the council’s next session that begins in February 2023. This would be the first time that China’s human rights atrocities, including the Uyghur genocide, feature on the U.N. rights body’s agenda in its 16-year history. It would further be a historic and long-overdue first step towards accountability and justice for Uyghur victims.
On September 26th, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) joined a group of 66 Uyghur organisations from 20 countries welcoming the draft resolution and urging governments to support its passage. In the joint statement, the groups said that they will continue to push for further action following last month’s U.N. assessment on China’s treatment of Uyghurs in East Turkistan. “The international community must remember its obligation to end atrocity crimes like genocide and crimes against humanity,” said WUC President Dolkun Isa.
Uyghur Delegation Led by WUC President Visits Japan
This week, a Uyghur delegation led by WUC President Dolkun Isa, spokesperson Dishat Reshit, Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) Executive Director Omer Kanat, and camp survivor Kelbinur Sidiq commenced a two-week visit to Japan to raise awareness of the Uyghur genocide. The ongoing visit included meetings with government officials, MPs, NGOs, press and the Uyghur community.
Speaking at a news conference with other Uyghur leaders in Tokyo, WUC President Dolkun Isa stated that Japan needs to move beyond “empty promises, [which are] not enough to stop the ongoing genocide”. Furthermore, on Friday 29th, the WUC delegation participated in a public event on the Uyghur crisis where they spoke about the Uyghur genocide in front of over 400 attendees.
Uyghur Friendship Group in European Parliament Calls for EU Action on Uyghur Genocide
On September 27th, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and Chairs of its Uyghur Friendship Group David Lega, Engin Eroglu, Markéta Gregorová, and Charlie Weimers published an op-ed in EU Observer, calling upon the EU to take action in response to the UN Uyghur report. The MEPs urged the EU to counter China’s threat to the UN human rights system, introduce laws to address corporate complicity in Uyghur forced labour, and place additional sanctions on Chinese officials and entities involved in the human rights atrocities.
During the current UN Human Rights Council the European External Action Service (EEAS) published a detailed statement on the Uyghur situation in East Turkistan, in which it welcomed the release of the UN Uyghur report. It further underscored the need for justice and accountability and urged China to cooperate with the OHCHR to implement the report’s recommendations, remarking that this situation requires urgent attention by the international community and highlighting the importance of the respect of the principle of non-refoulement. In relation to detainees, they called for the immediate release of Ilham Tohti, among others.
Parliamentary Discussion in Bern
On September 29th, the WUC and its affiliate organisation in Switzerland, the Uyghurischer Verein Schweiz, joined a parliamentary discussion with camp survivors Gulbahar Jalilova & Gulbahar Haitiwaji organised by Society for Threatened Peoples and the East Turkistan Union in Europe, as well as Swiss MPs Fabian Molina, Corina Gredig, and Lisa Mazzone. During the discussion, participants urged Switzerland to take a stronger stance in response to the Uyghur genocide, and support ongoing efforts at the UN Human Rights Council to hold the Chinese government accountable.
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.