China: ongoing Human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang

Press release

We are gravely concerned by reports of ongoing gross human rights violations and persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang in the People’s Republic of China. Recent major reports conclude that the Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity against its Turkic Muslim population.

At least one million people are reportedly subjected to widespread and systematic human rights violations including, but not limited to, mass arbitrary detention and surveillance, torture and illtreatment, rape and sexual abuse, enforced disappearances, forced labour, sterilisation and transfer of children, and pervasive cultural and religious restrictions. Based on current evidence, we cannot exclude that certain atrocities amount to genocide. The international community, this Council, and your Office cannot remain silent.

In June 2020, nearly 50 UN experts called for an independent investigation into human rights abuses in China, followed by similar calls by over 300 civil society organisations in September 2020. There has been a lack of progress since.

We therefore call:

1. On the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to remotely monitor and collect evidence of atrocity crimes in Xinjiang and to report systematically and publicly on this issue to the Human Rights Council and other relevant UN bodies.

2. On your Office, Special Adviser, to support and coordinate on efforts in this regard and to enhance systematic information exchange.

3. On the international community to support an independent investigative mechanism into atrocity crimes in Xinjiang with a view to holding perpetrators to account and providing reparations to victims.

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