WUC SUBMISSION TO THE UK CONSERVERATIVE PARTY HUMAN RIGHTS COMISSION
World Uyghur Congress, 05 May 2020
The present report provides information to the UK Conservative Party Human Rights Comission.
Human rights violation in the context of COVID-19
Due to the heavy censorship in the Uyghur region, as well as mainland China, the situation in Xinjiang regarding the COVID-19 remains highly obscure. Radio Free Asia‘s Uyghur Service has been at the forefront of reporting on the spread of COVID-19 in the region, with limited access to information inside the region. The lack of transparency and control over information by the Chinese government have increased even further during the current pandemic.
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of expression for Uyghurs is effectively non-existent. Many Uyghur websites have been shut down and their administrators imprisoned on charges of ‘‘harming ethnic unity‘‘ or ‘‘endangering state security‘‘. Ilham Tohti, the Uyghur economist, writer and professor who founded the website “Uighurbiz.net‘‘ to promote conciliation between Uyghur and Chinese, arrested in 2014 on and convicted of ‘‘inciting separatism‘‘ remains one of the most blatant cases of large-scale attack on freedom of expression.
Right to Privacy
With the appointment of Chen Quanguo in 2016 as the Communist Party Secretary in Xinjiang, he has dramatically reduced the right to privacy for the Uyghurs, by introducing a series of drastic measures to control their daily life activities. These measures are deployed in different ways, from facial recognition to intrusive home visits, all spheres of private life are being targeted.
In recent years, there were several allegations that the Chinese authorities were practicing forced organ harvesting on Uyghurs. Numerous survivors from the internment camps and other detention facilities have testified that they were forced to undergo medical evaluations (often while blindfolded) where blood samples and other biometric data was taken against their will. The prevalence of these claims among survivors point to a forced systematic collection of DNA and other biometric data of ethnic Uyghurs in arbitrary detention.
The report can be read in full here.