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Uyghur Congress urges German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to flag human rights violations to China in his upcoming visit
Image credit: Olaf Scholz Facebook

Uyghur Congress urges German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to flag human rights violations to China in his upcoming visit

| @indiablooms | 14 Apr 2024, 08:40 pm

In a joint letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) urged him to raise the issue of the human rights situation and atrocities in Tibet, East Turkestan, Hong Kong, Southern Mongolia and China itself during his upcoming trip to China.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is scheduled to go to China on a four-day visit this month.

In the letter, the WUC has asked the German Chancellor to address issues that concern the situation in Tibet, East Turkestan, Hong Kong, southern Mongolia and China itself.

"On the occasion of your upcoming trip to the People's Republic of China, we as a coalition of human rights organizations are asking you to forcefully stand up for the rights of people living in Germany who have fled the repression of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and who are committed to the rights of Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers and Chinese," WUC wrote to the chancellor in the letter.

It said the federal government's China strategy, adopted in July 2023, has this goal set “to better represent our values and interests in the complex relationship with China."

The letter said the serious human rights violations of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, about whom the United Nations also reports, the situation in Tibet, the situation in Hong Kong, the situation of ethnic and religious communities as well as the clearly worsening situation of human rights defenders should be taken up.

The WUC has asked the chancellor to take up with the Chinese government the persecution of religious minorities in China and the repressive policies of the Chinese Communist Party.

The WUC, regarding the situation in Tibet, demanded an end to the Chinese government's Sinicization policy towards the language, religion and culture of the Tibetans, in particular an immediate closure of the forced boarding schools for Tibetan children and an end to the forced resettlement of nomads and rural population.

It also demanded the preservation of the freedom of religion and belief of Tibetan Buddhists, in particular the sole right of the Dalai Lama , without state intervention, over his reincarnation or that of Buddhist dignitaries and the release of the kidnapped Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.

The organization's demands include an end to torture and ill-treatment, systematic violations of freedom of expression and assembly, in particular the release of peaceful protesters such as those in the eastern Tibetan region of Derge, as well as the release of Tibetan human rights and environmental defenders such as Anya Sengdra, Dorjee Daktal, Kelsang Choklang, Dhongye, Rinchen Namdol, Tsultrim Gonpo, Jangchup Ngodup, Sogru Abhu and Namesy.

It also demanded the resumption of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

Regarding East Turkestan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), the WUC demanded an immediate end to the genocide or crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs, as already expressed in the special report of the UN Human Rights Commissioner, the Research Service of the German Bundestag, in resolutions of the European Parliament and in decisions of eleven other parliaments.

It demanded an immediate release of all Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in internment camps, all human rights defenders and all persons unlawfully detained for peacefully expressing their opinions, practicing their religion or defending their culture.

"We demand an immediate end to the cruel assimilation policy against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, in particular the cultural identity, language and traditions of the Uyghurs must be respected and protected in order to preserve their rights and freedoms as a people," the letter read.

"Our demands include the consistent implementation of the 'Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights' and the immediate end to all forms of Uighur forced labor and modern slavery in China," it added.

While writing about its demands regarding Hong Kong, the WUC said, "We demand the withdrawal of the “Regulation on Safeguarding National Security” under Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law and the “Law on Safeguarding National Security” passed by the National People's Congress in 2020."

It demanded the release of all political prisoners, including Joshua Wong and Chow Hang-tung, a fair trial for media mogul Jimmy Lai, charged under the national security law, and to respect the principle of “one country, two systems”.

Regarding Southern Mongolia (Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region), it demanded the withdrawal of regulations on the suppression of the Mongolian language in kindergartens and schools, and the release of political prisoners like the Mongol Alamusha who are tortured in custody.

The organization also demanded the release of human rights defenders such as Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, Yu Wensheng and his wife Xu Yan, as well as human rights defender Xu Qin, who advocated on behalf of the latter two, as their cases are exemplary for many others.

It demanded an end to the systematic use of torture to extract confessions, and the systematic use of so-called “residential surveillance at a designated location” as a means of intimidation and coercion of confessions.

Regarding transnational repression, the World Uyghur Congress demanded the end of intimidation and threats to people in Germany or their families in China, in particular no searches by security authorities of relatives in Tibet, East Turkestan, Hong Kong, southern Mongolia and China as well as no harassment of people in Germany through telephone calls, stalking, physical attacks or doxing.

"The 'turning point' you announced in February 2022 in view of the full invasion of Ukraine by Russia must not only be limited to Russia, but should also be consistently implemented towards all autocracies in the world," the letter read.

"This is particularly true of the sole ruling Chinese Communist Party, which has become even more repressive under Xi Jinping and now has open  totalitarian traits," it added.

"Immediately after Xi Jinping was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party and Head of State of the People's Republic of China, it was clear that the party sees itself as opposed to universal human rights, pluralism and democracy and, as a consequence, wants to undermine our liberal democracy in Germany."

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