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Weekly Brief, 8 December

Weekly Brief, 8 December


World Uyghur Congress Issues Press Release on Volkswagen’s Audit Results
On December 6, Volkswagen AG published the results of its long-awaited audit of the VW SAIC plant in Urumchi, East Turkistan. Volkswagen operates the plant as part of a joint venture with the Chinese state-owned company SAIC. It is located in close proximity to the notorious internment camps. The World Uyghur Congress, together with the Society for Threatened Peoples and the Association Ethical Shareholders, issued a press release, calling on Volkswagen to not ignore the Uyghur genocide and criticising the audit results.

“In a region where millions of Uyghurs are under extensive surveillance and are indefinitely interned, tortured and severely abused for words or appearances that do not conform to Communist Party ideals, a credible, independent audit is simply not possible,” says Gheyyur Kuerban, Berlin Director of the World Uyghur Congress.” 

An ESG audit performed by Human Rights and Responsible Business GmbH, owned by the former Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights, Markus Löning, has concluded that there is no evidence of use of forced labour in the region. Meanwhile numerous international auditing firms, including TÜV Süd, Bureau Veritas and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) stopped carrying out audits in East Turkistan, due to the extreme surveillance, tracking of physical and digital movements and the use of facial recognition.

Volkswagen should disclose the results in full. The company must also explain how it intends to exclude Uyghur forced labour in all its supply chains, including those of its joint ventures. 

International Community Celebrates 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence
On November 25, the annual international campaign ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence’ started and will run until December 10. The initiative was first introduced by the UN Secretary General in 2008 as an effort to eradicate violence against women and girls globally. 

Stop Uyghur Genocide together with the Jewish human rights organization, René Cassin have joined the campaign, sharing testimonies of Uyghur camp survivors including Qelbinur Sidik, Tursunay Ziyawudun and Zumret Dawut. They all have either witnessed or experienced gross human rights violations committed by Chinese officials against Uyghur women inside the internment camps, including severe forms of torture, rape, forced sterilization and abortion. 

“I accidentally mentioned the name of Allah, and they beat me harder. This caused my ankles to become dislocated. It’s just extreme torture,”  stated Ms. Dawut.

The World Uyghur Congress UK-Office Director, Rahima Mahmut was interviewed by Stop Uyghur Genocide and Rene Cassin on gender based violence against Uyghur women. “Despite the CCP’s attempts to break Uyghur women’s spirit, we remain strong. Uyghur women are leading the drive to save our culture and community,” said Ms Mahmut.

New Evidence of British Army Using Solar Panels tainted with Uyghur Forced Labour
On December 3, the BBC published an article about the British Army investing £200m in solar panels produced by companies using Uyghur forced labour. The UK Ministry of Defence said that JA Solar, Trina and Qcells are the main solar panel suppliers. Moreover, a recent report by Sheffield Hallam University classified all three entities as being “very highly” exposed to production in East Turkistan. According to the International Energy Agency, China’s dominance in all the manufacturing stages of solar panels is over 80% while the UK government’s reliance on China for solar materials is the greatest with nearly 45%.  

“Green energy means respect for human rights and respect for the environment,” Mr Uluyol, researcher for the Sheffield Hallam University, said. “Both are absent from the Uyghur region.”

New Report Finds Connection Between Uyghur Forced Labour and the EU
A group of researchers from the Uyghur Rights Monitor, Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at the Sheffield Hallam University and the Uyghur Center for Democracy and Human Rights identified that 39 popular brands are at high risk of sourcing garments produced by Uyghur forced labour. A significant part of apparel has been entering the EU without any restrictions. The report identified four companies based in China which source or manufacture products from East Turkistan. Additionally the report found that these entities try to hide their connection to forced labour by denying their involvement in the Chinese government’s forced labour transfer schemes, or by changing their supplier names. In conclusion, the report emphasises the importance for companies to perform forensic due diligence in order to identify and remove any link to Uyghur forced labour in their production. 


World Uyghur Congress is Hiring
We seek a Global Advocacy Officer to join our dynamic team advancing Uyghur human rights globally. The application deadline is 15 December 2023. More details can be found here. 

Join Us in Commemorating Uyghur Genocide Rememberance Day
Join us on December 9th to stand in solidarity with the Uyghur community. On Uyghur Genocide Remembrance Day, we unite for justice, human rights, and a brighter future. 

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.

Join Us in Honouring the 2nd Anniversary of Uyghur Genocide Recognition
The World Uyghur Congress together with a UK Uyghur Community is organising an event on commemoration of the 2nd Uyghur Genocide Recogntion Day. Join us for an unforgettable evening dedicated to the rich tapestry of Uyghur culture, music and dance!