WORLD UYGHUR CONGRESS 7TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE SITUATION IN EAST TURKISTAN
On Sunday the 14th of November, during the World Uyghur Congress’ 7th General Assembly, its newly elected leadership adopted a resolution “on the Situation of Uyghurs and other Turkic People in East Turkistan”. The resolution contains calls on the Chinese government, the International Community – including the United Nations – and the International Olympic Committee to take action to end the human rights atrocities against the Uyghur people.
Sunday, 14 November 2021, Prague, Czech Republic
World Uyghur Congress Resolution on the Situation of Uyghurs and other Turkic People in East Turkistan
The World Uyghur Congress
- having regard to the constitutional mandate of the World Uyghur Congress to represent the collective interest of the people of East Turkistan, both at home and abroad.
- having regard to the first resolution unanimously adopted during the East Turkistan National Congress, December 12-14, 1992, which highlighted China’s colonial occupation of East Turkistan and emphasized the final goal of all people in East Turkistan to live in freedom and dignity.
- having regard to the mission statement of the World Uyghur Congress to promote the rights of Uyghurs and other Turkic people in East Turkistan to determine their own political future through non-violent and democratic means.
- having regard to the UN experts’ call of 26 June 2020 for decisive measures to protect fundamental freedoms in China.
- having regard to Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which guarantees all citizens the right to freedom of religious belief, and to Article 4 thereof, which upholds the rights of ethnic minorities.
- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966, which the People’s Republic of China signed in 1998, but never ratified.
- having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights of 16 December 1966, which the People’s Republic of China ratified in 2001.
- having regard to the Protocol of 2014 to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Forced Labour Convention of 1930, which has not been signed by China.
- having regard to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights of 2011.
- having regard to European Parliament resolutions and reports on the situation in China, in particular those of 17 December 2020 on forced labour and the situation of the Uyghurs of 19 December 2019 on the situation of the Uyghurs (China Cables), of 18 April 2019 on China, notably the situation of religious and ethnic minorities, of 4 October 2018 on mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Kazakhs of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU-China relations, and of 15 December 2016 on the cases of the Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy and Ilham Tohti, of 10 March 2011 on the situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar, and of 26 November 2009 on China: minority rights and application of the death penalty.
- Whereas credible reports indicate that around 3 million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples have been arbitrarily detained in concentration camps, where they are forced to renounce their ethnic identity, culture and religion. Whereas reasons for detention have been found to include everyday forms of lawful (religious) behaviour, such as having a beard, having or talking to family abroad, the possession of religious content, being generally ‘untrustworthy’, or being born after 1980. Whereas witnesses have described conditions in these camps to include forced labour, systematic torture, rape, sexual abuse, malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, forced sterilizations, and even killings. Whereas, contrary to the claims of the Chinese Communist Party, reports have found the internment system is expanding.
- Whereas the Chinese authorities have implemented an invasive policy consisting of aggressive birth control measures, which include forced sterilizations and abortions. Whereas credible reporting found that these birth prevention measures could cut between 2.6 and 4.5 million Uyghurs births until 2040. Whereas the Chinese government also attempts to alter the demographic structure of East Turkistan by incentivizing mass migration of Han Chinese to the region.
- Whereas the Chinese authorities have systematically separated Uyghur children from their families, either as part of the detainment of parents in internment camps, or as an end in itself by sending Uyghur children to boarding schools. Whereas conditions in these boarding schools resemble those found in the internment camps, as Uyghur children are forced to renounce their ethnic identity, culture, and religion.
- Whereas reporting indicates that Uyghurs are systematically forced to work under forced labour conditions, either in factories connected to the internment camp system, or as part of forced labour transfers. Whereas research has found as many as 550,000 Uyghurs to be forced to pick cotton in East Turkistan, affecting global supply chains in the garment and cotton industry, Whereas various other industries are at high risk of being tainted by Uyghur forced labour, including the solar panel, technology, footwear, and beauty industries.
- Whereas reporting by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and others have exposed the systematic destruction of Uyghur religious and cultural heritage, including mosques, sacred shrines, cemeteries, traditional architectures and cultural traits. Whereas it is estimated that at least two-thirds of Uyghur mosques have been destroyed or damaged since 2017, and a further 30% of other important Islamic sacred sites have been demolished across East Turkistan, and an additional 28% have been damaged or altered in some way.
- Whereas the human rights atrocities against the people in East Turkistan have been largely facilitated by the transformation of the region into a police state, noticeable since the arrival of Chen Quango as Chinese Communist Party Committee Secretary of the ‘’Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’’. Whereas this has resulted in an intrusive network of on- and offline surveillance, by means of cameras equipped with facial recognition, grid-level control with police checks, and the collection of DNA, blood samples, and other personal data of every Uyghur between 12 and 65.
- Whereas the Uyghur community overseas experiences systematic harassment, threats, and intimidation by the Chinese State, in an attempt to silence Uyghur rights activists. Whereas the Chinese authorities have forcibly disappeared Uyghur family members in East Turkistan in an attempt to retaliate against Uyghur dissidents overseas.
- Whereas reports by various legal experts, in particular those of the Essex Court Chambers and the Newlines Institute, both published in 2021, have found that China’s actions against the Uyghur people amount to crimes against humanity and genocide as enshrined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the 1948 Genocide Convention. Whereas the United States government in January 2021 officially recognized China’s actions in East Turkistan to constitute crimes against humanity and genocide. Whereas since then, the national parliaments of Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic, have adopted resolutions recognizing crimes against humanity and (a serious risk of) genocide.
To the government of the People’s Republic of China:
- Demands the Chinese government to grant unfettered access to allow investigations of crimes against humanity and genocide in East Turkistan by independent bodies such as the United Nations Human Rights Council.
- Demands the Chinese authorities to immediately shut down all internment camps operating in East Turkistan and unconditionally release all Uyghurs and others detained therein.
- Demands the Chinese authorities to allow family reunification with missing family members and to search for the disappeared in East Turkistan.
- Demands the Chinese government to immediately release all journalists, bloggers, scholars, artists, athletes and religious believers imprisoned for peacefully exercising the right to free speech.
- Demands the Chinese government to shut down the Integrated Joint Operations Platform and the Physicals for All program in East Turkistan. It must delete all collected data and suspend the collection and use of biometric data until the introduction of a comprehensive national legislation to protect individual privacy.
- Demands the Chinese government to repeal its current policies and legislations that explicitly and implicitly link Islam to extremism and violence.
- Demands the Chinese government to put an immediate end to all demolitions of Uyghur neighborhoods and cultural and religious sites in East Turkistan.
- Demands the Chinese government to abolish policies that forcefully impose Mandarin education and culture on Uyghur pupils in East Turkistan.
- Demands the Chinese authorities to put an end to all kinds of intimidation, threats and harassment against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic persons living overseas. Demands the Chinese government to stop pressuring countries to deport Uyghur refugees and asylum seekers to China.
- Demands the Chinese government to put an immediate end to the policies of forced separation of families, forced sterilization of women and forcibly transferring children to ‘’boarding schools’’ away from their families and culture.
To the United Nations:
- Demands the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights to use her independent monitoring and reporting mandate to report on the human rights situation in East Turkistan.
- Demands the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution to create a commission of inquiry to investigate the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity unfolding in East Turkistan. Demands States and international organizations to collect all the available evidence on China’s crimes against the Uyghurs, and assess whether these constitute genocide and crimes against humanity.
- Demands that the United Nations Security Council refers the available evidence and the genocide resolutions adopted by six national parliaments to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
To the International Community:
- Demands States and international organizations to impose full sanctions, such as travel bans and asset freezes on Chinese individuals and institutions that are complicit in the crimes against the Uyghurs and other Turkic people; demands these are urgently introduced if States do not yet possess autonomous sanctions mechanisms.
- Demands foreign governments and businesses to identify opportunities to end their complicity in the use of Uyghur forced labour. Businesses must end their existing relationship with Chinese suppliers – especially those active in East Turkistan – if they fail to conduct due diligence regarding their supply chains, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Calls upon business to sign the Call to Action from the coalition to end Uyghur forced labour: https:// enduyghurforcedlabour.org/call-to-action/.
To the International Olympic Committee:
- Demands the International Olympic Committee and its various national committees and its various national committees to relocate or postpone the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games outside of China if it refuses to allow an independent international observation mission, and/or if an independant international observation mission concludes that there have been crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.