CFU PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 02:30 AM ET
Sabrina Sohail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU) welcomes the report “Trapped: China’s Expanding Use of Exit Bans” by the Safeguard Defenders. The report reveals Xi Jinping’s use of the Exit Ban as a tool to exert greater control over individuals’ lives, news, and human rights activism, often without legal justification.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorizes exit bans from China on national security grounds, impacting not only activists and foreign journalists but also for transnational repression and other coercive practices. The report indicates, under Xi’s rule, four additional laws were passed which brings the total number of such laws to 14. One of these new laws, The Supervision Law (2018), makes individuals who are under investigation or connected to an investigation, even if they are not a suspect, subject to exit bans. The enforcement of the practice can be at the border, at home via the confiscation of passports, or simply by denying passport applications or renewals. Often, individuals are not informed of their exit ban until they reach the border and try to leave the country.
The CCP has been implementing exit bans in East Turkistan and Tibet for a long time. For Uyghurs, access to passports was always weaponized with corruption and discriminatory procedures. In 2015, authorities in the Ili region of East Turkistan stopped issuing new passports and recalled all existing passports to be held by police. By 2016, passport recalls were enforced more widely throughout East Turkistan. The situation has also affected Uyghurs in the diaspora, as some have attempted to renew their passports but were instead given one-way travel documents to East Turkistan amid the ongoing Uyghur Genocide.
CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas says “Exit bans are one of the many tools employed by the CCP to further impose its tyranny. Activists, human rights lawyers, and their families are held hostage by the CCP to silence their voices, and members of the Uyghur and Tibetan communities are deprived of their right to travel to contain the CCP’s genocide and crimes against humanity. The report by Safeguard Defenders serves as a powerful tool to raise awareness about the CCP’s atrocities and call for assistance to protect innocent civilians. We urge the international community and the UN human rights body promptly address the atrocities being perpetrated by the CCP and take action to protect the human rights of Uyghurs, Tibetans, and all individuals who are being subjected to oppression and suffering.”
CFU praises Safeguard Defenders for drawing attention to yet another crime of CCP. China’s implementation of exit bans has led to the imprisonment of individuals in open-air prisons often without legality, where they are subjected to inhumane treatment. Those affected by exit bans are often unable to challenge the decision under the Communist regime. We urge all governments to prioritize and address the suffering of those impacted by China’s exit bans to reunite families, defend human rights, and hold China accountable for its crimes.