Western countries are discussing a proposal to set up an independent commission of inquiry into the Uighur issue at the UN

The 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council, which began on September 12, has become a fierce diplomatic battleground with western countries and China and its supporters on how to deal with the Uyghur issue. According to Western media, China is also working hard to prevent Western countries from making any decisions at the current meeting, which will last until October 7, including the proposal to establish an independent commission of inquiry against China on the Uyghur issue.

British “Guardian” newspaper on September 19 reported that Chinese diplomats had already taken action.

It turns out that China’s ambassador in Geneva issued a statement last Tuesday with the support of Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan and other 30 countries, accusing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of acting beyond its authority, “exacerbating the existing situation and polarizing the West.” and the politicization of human rights.

This time, the number of countries that signed China’s statement is less than the number of countries that asked China and High Commissioner for Human Rights Bachelet not to publish a report on Uyghurs in June this year, even though only eight of these 30 countries have the right to vote in the 47-member UN Human Rights Council. However, the proportion of countries that support the establishment of an independent investigation mechanism and those that support China are equal.

Laura Harth, campaign director of Central European Human Rights Defenders, interviewed us on September 2 and expressed that this will be a signal not only for China but also for the whole world.

“Of course, this helps promote the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China,” says Laura Hart. This will be a campaign victory for him at an extraordinary time, with the Chinese Communist Party Congress approaching and Xi Jinping seeking a third term as president. This is not good for all of us, including the Uyghurs, all the people in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and all the people around the world who do not want human rights to be violated. So, this will send a signal not only to China, but to all human rights defenders and potential victims around the world.”

According to Laura Hart, the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Uyghurs is very clear, and it places the responsibility on member states to investigate and hold them accountable. Laura Hart: “One point is very clear to us, and very clear in the report. “However, the report reminds us of the necessity of further investigation, and requests the member states to fulfill their responsibilities and investigate this crime, which is documented in the report, through other channels, and hold those responsible accountable.”

According to the “Guardian” newspaper, when countries like Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Kyrgyzstan are supporting China, Western countries are considering the risk of rejection of the UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation committee to investigate the situation of Uyghurs.

Belen Martínez Corbonel, Director of Global and Multilateral Relations of the European Union’s External Affairs Commission, said that the level of violence in the Uighur region does not require urgent attention from the international community.

In her speech at the Atlantic Council meeting on September 19, Mrs. Belen Martínez Corbonel said: “The report calls for the urgent attention of the Chinese government, the United Nations, especially its human rights bodies, and the international community to the human rights situation in Xinjiang. The severity calls for action by the international community. The EU High Commissioner for Human Rights fully supports the Office’s recommendations. We believe that the report should be followed up in a suitable manner whether in Beijing, New York or Geneva. Our High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs conveyed this to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, yesterday.

Belen Martínez Corbonel said that the situation does not require the UN human rights mechanism to continuously monitor the Uighur region. Belen Martínez Corbonel: “The human rights situation in China, especially the human rights situation in Xinjiang, requires investigation and continuous monitoring by the human rights mechanism of the UN, whether in Geneva or New York. In particular, we hope to have the opportunity to discuss the report substantively in the Human Rights Council. The EU strongly supports the independence and impartiality of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “We must clearly recognize that China’s current propaganda is trying to undermine the report and the fact-gathering and accurate observation of the office.”

Laura Hart of the “Human Rights Defenders Protection Organization” said that in the past, the Chinese government used the excuse of “no truth” for the persecution of the Uyghurs, but now they have no reason to make excuses.

Laura Hart says: “We want to see governments around the world take bolder action and UN member states to take more effective action. For a long time, they used the excuse that there was not enough evidence, or that human rights activists were not reaching the right people. In short, they cooperated with the Chinese government and allowed it to continue to commit this crime. Now there is a UN report that shows how much the people have paid. Therefore, we hope that governments will take this issue to the International Criminal Court and pursue other legal avenues.”

It turns out that so far 14 countries in the Human Rights Council have established an independent investigation mechanism and supported the investigation of the actions proposed in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Uyghurs, but still 15 to 18 countries support China. According to the news of “Guardian”, whether or not the UN Human Rights Council will make a decision on the Uighur issue at the current session has become a critical issue between China’s influence in the UN and the UN’s determination to protect human rights from the destruction of authoritarian countries.



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