With the long-awaited release of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on human rights violations by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Uyghurs, Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) demands concrete action be taken by the United Nations (UN) and by governments to bring an end to the Uyghur genocide. The report’s findings point to mass detention, coercion in the implementation of birth control measures, torture and sexual violence in state-run detention facilities.
The report, however, seems to uphold ambiguity in instances when clear and convincing evidence has been shown, stating: “Data remains incomplete…this makes it difficult to consider these statistics in the context of a longer timeframe…” Additionally, far too many pages are allocated to China, giving unnecessary space to their false case for “counter-terrorism” as justification for atrocities.
The report notes that “Not a single interviewee said they were able to exit the facility or go home for a visit,” further stating that “half had no contact with their family…” The report calls these facilities “VETC (Vocational Education and Training Centers.)” It says, “while a specific number of detainees in VETC facilities cannot be confirmed” the number, “was very significant and comprised a substantial proportion of the Uyghur and Muslim populations.” The report’s assessment details numerous human rights violations occuring but fails to call them crimes against humanity or genocide, saying “The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups…may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”
“While the facts of this report reveal arbitrary detention, sexual torture, family separation, discrimination and pervasive state surveillance, it has an outrageous shortcoming: The report fails to truthfully call China’s atrocities what they are: genocide and crimes against humanity. This choice is inexcusable and unpardonable,” said CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas. “While this report lays bare many truths, far more is needed than words. We must take tangible actions to stop the CCP’s whitewashing, boldfaced lies, threats, extradition and acts of genocide. If we do not act we will have failed the lessons of the Holocaust, ‘never again’.”
This report obliges Human Rights Council (HRC) member states and other nations to urgently respond to these “serious human rights violations” being committed by one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council states. The key now is to take this report’s conclusions to find relief and justice for the Uyghurs and other Turkic people suffering this genocide. Nations must implement forced labor bans similar to the US Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and enact sanctions against CCP officials and entities like the Xinjiang Construction and Production Corps, targeting perpetrators of mass forced labor and detention. Only the international community can prevent genocide and protect the rights of Uyghurs. Failure to do this violates international law and our moral contract to humanity.