The European Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution condemning the mass incarceration of Uyghurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and reiterating its call for easy access into the area for independent journalists and global observers.
The settlement was approved a day following the parliament introduced the 2019 Sakharov Prize–its high human rights award–into the daughter of condemned Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti for”fighting for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority” from the XUAR, where police are thought to have arrested some 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused of harboring”powerful religious viewpoints” and”politically incorrect” thoughts in a huge community of internment camps because April 2017.
“[The European Parliament] strongly condemns the sending of thousands and thousands of Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs to governmental’re-education decks’ on the foundation of a method of predictive lobbying,” the resolution reads.
“[Parliament] urges the Chinese authorities to put an immediate end to the practice of arbitrary detention without charge, trial or conviction for a criminal offence of members of the Uyghur and Kazakh minorities, to close camps and detention facilities, as well as immediately and unconditionally release those arrested.”
The resolution also demands that Chinese governments”permit free, purposeful and unhindered access” into the XUAR for members of the media and global observers, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, including that the European Union and its members states”must take the lead” throughout the following U.N. Human Rights Council about launching a fact-finding assignment to Xinjiang.
While Beijing originally denied the existence of the camps, China this season changed tack and started describing the centers as”boarding schools” that offer vocational training for Uyghurs, dissuade radicalization, and also help shield the nation from terrorism.
Reporting from RFA’s Uyghur Service along with other media associations, however, has proven that people in the camps are detained against their will and exposed to governmental indoctrination, regularly face demanding treatment in the hands of the overseers, and suffer bad diets and unhygienic conditions from the frequently overcrowded facilities.
Other factors recorded in the settlement include the parliament’s call on China to immediately and unconditionally release Tohti along with other rights campaigners, activists, attorneys, journalists and petitioners it stated was arrested solely for the peaceful expression of the freedom of expression, and also to make sure that their own families and attorneys aren’t exposed to torture or other ill-treatment.
Tohti, a former professor of economics at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, has been sentenced to life in prison for”separatism” from the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court at the XUAR on Sept. 23, 2014, despite having worked for two or more decades to foster dialog and understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese.
The settlement also expressed concern over the harassment of Uyghurs overseas by the Chinese government so as to induce them to behave as informants against other Uyghurs, return to the XUAR, or stay silent about the situation there, occasionally by detaining their relatives back home.
It condemned the intensification of management plans in the area bolstered by scientific surveillance procedures, in addition to reports of the potential use of forced labour in the internment camps at the distribution chain of global businesses, and urged that the Chinese authorities to instantly publish a listing of those in detention, who’ve been published, and who’ve vanished.
The settlement calls on the European Parliament”to embrace targeted sanctions and asset freezes, if they be deemed effective and appropriate, contrary to the Chinese officials accountable for formulating and executing the policy of mass detention of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang and for orchestrating a serious repression.”
It marks the third time in more than a year the parliament dealt with the situation in the XUAR using a settlement.
The Munich-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC) exile set on Thursday welcomed the departure of this settlement, which it stated”shows the EU’s resolve to take purposeful action to prevent China’s crimes against humanity against Uyghurs.”
The team said in a statement that the departure of this settlement and Wednesday’s awarding of the Sakharov Prize to Tohti”sends a very clear message to the Chinese authorities which the EU is ready to take concrete actions to shut the internment camps and halt the persecution of Uyghurs and other cultural groups in East Turkistan,” with a title favored by several Uyghurs to refer to their historical homeland.
Dolkun Isa, the president of the WUC, told RFA’s Uyghur Service the acceptance indicates the European Parliament”won’t stand idly by” as China commits rights abuses from the XUAR.
“Today the Uyghur men and women believe we aren’t alone and that we’ve got more friends and fans in the world within our shared desire for human rights and democracy,” he explained.
Before on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang known as Tohti that a”terrorist” and refused to affirm his standing during a regular press briefing in Beijing after his daughter, Jewher Ilham, stated in the Sakharov Prize awarding ceremony she didn’t know whether he’s still living and had not heard news of him because 2017.
Geng also denied knowledge of the rights trophy, according to a report by Agence France-Presse, as the foreign ministry failed in October when the award has been announced.
“I really don’t understand the award you said,” Geng said, including that Tohti was”a criminal sentenced with a Chinese court based on the law”
“We hope that relevant parties could honor China’s internal affairs and judicial sovereignty, rather than help promote the unworthy reason behind a terrorist,” he added.
supplied by RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by Alim Seytoff. Written in English from Joshua Lipes.