Disappointments at the UN, but we must not let the challenges obscure the good that it can achieve

Earlier this month, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted to elect 14 new members to the Human Rights Council (HRC) to serve from 2023 to 2025. Among those elected were Sudan and Vietnam. The former was selected in a clean slate election, meaning that the number of candidates equaled the number of seats available, while the latter defeated Afghanistan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). 

The election of both of these states is deeply disappointing.  

Sudan is currently led by a military leader who seized power illegally from the civilian-led transitional government in an October 2021 coup, and where the past year has been characterized by the killing and brutalising of peaceful protesters, and attempts to reverse the limited human rights gains made under the transitional government, including in relation to the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). 

The Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) has led the northern part of Vietnam since 1954, and took control of the rest of the country in 1975, following the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. During that time, the VCP has repeatedly violated human rights, including FoRB and land rights, whilst routinely targeting those who request or advocate for such rights with harassment, arbitrary detention, imprisonment, physical violence and even torture

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After the UN’s allegations of crimes against humanity, the world must mobilise on China’s actions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

In April 2020, CSW published a guest blog written by an expert on Uyghur culture who outlined the pervasive human rights crisis in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Over two years later, the situation remains unchanged, and as we hear from the same expert, the need for international action grows more pressing with every passing day.

“Kamil is a broken young man. Wrenched from his home at dead of night five years ago, hooded, shackled and shoved into the back of a police van, he disappeared. Two years ago, he re-emerged. Via friends of friends we heard with immense relief that he was alive, but the message we received was that he feared nothing anymore, such had been the terror he had faced daily during his incarceration. Yes he was alive, but barely.

More than two years have passed since my last blog, and there are hundreds of thousands of Kamils. Some have been ‘released’ to forced labour, many making cheap clothing for Western brands; others have been sentenced for spurious crimes in secret courts to draconian prison terms; others are still unaccounted for, and many have died.

The Chinese government has been working overtime garnering support around the world to justify incarcerating up to three million Uyghur and Turkic minority citizens from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, its North Westernmost province, in a network of at least 380 razor-wire clad and watchtower-surrounded so-called ‘Vocational Training Schools’.

Continue reading After the UN’s allegations of crimes against humanity, the world must mobilise on China’s actions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

« Personne n’est à l’abri des rafles » : La vie des Ouïghours dans la région chinoise du Xinjiang

La région autonome ouïghoure du Xinjiang, en Chine, connaît actuellement une crise des droits humains sans précédent. Entre un et trois millions de Ouïghours, Kazakhs et membres d’autres minorités ethniques, majoritairement musulmans, sont détenus sans chef d’accusation, ni procès dans des “camps de rééducation. Le billet de blog suivant est écrit par un expert de la culture ouïghoure et nous éclaire sur ce qu’est la vie pour ceux qui se trouvent dans la région

« Imaginez un monde où l’on épie chacun de vos gestes. Où les personnes que vous rencontrez, celles à qui vous rendez visite et même vos conversations sont surveillées. Où l’on peut vous contraindre à descendre d’un bus, interrompant votre voyage ou vous forcer à sortir de votre voiture à un poste de contrôle. Où vos biens, votre identité, votre visage, vos empreintes digitales et votre iris sont scannés plusieurs fois par jour, et où le contenu de votre téléphone peut vous envoyer en prison pour le reste de votre vie. 

Telle est la nouvelle réalité pour plus de 10 millions de Ouïghours dans la province du Xinjiang, au nord-ouest de la Chine, depuis que l’ancien gouverneur du Tibet, Chen Quanguo, a été appelé à en prendre la tête. En effet, Xi Jinping et le Parti communiste chinois considèrent Xinjiang comme la deuxième province la plus problématique de Chine depuis 2017.

Continue reading “« Personne n’est à l’abri des rafles » : La vie des Ouïghours dans la région chinoise du Xinjiang”

Corea del Norte y la Región Autónoma Uigur de Sinkiang: paralelos sombríos entre dos de los lugares con más represión del mundo

El 3 de marzo la plataforma de información enfocada en China, SupChina, publicó extractos traducidos de una discusión de 16 horas de una ‘sala’ en la aplicación Clubhouse llamada, “¿Hay un campo de concentración en Sinkiang?” Increíblemente la sala atrajo 4,000 participantes, pero la situación verdaderamente extraordinaria de la conversación era la reunión de los uigures y los chinos han por un momento – tanto dentro como fuera de China – en un espacio momentáneamente más allá de las restricciones gubernamentales.

La Información fiable sobre lo que está pasando en contra de los uigures es fuertemente censurada en China; las únicas noticias sobre la Región Autónoma Uigur de Sinkiang uigurson de los medios estatales que pintan a los uigures como terroristas potenciales o intrumentos agradecidos del programa de “reeducación” del gobierno.

Antes de su prohibición, Clubhouse proporcionó brevemente un canal nuevo para la discusión abierta de uno de los asuntos más sensibles en China hoy. SupChina describrió la conversación como “histórica”, y ciertamente fue: histórica, emotiva, trágica y esclarecedora.

Continue reading “Corea del Norte y la Región Autónoma Uigur de Sinkiang: paralelos sombríos entre dos de los lugares con más represión del mundo”

North Korea and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Grim parallels in two of the most repressive parts of the world

On 3 March the China-focused information platform SupChina published translated extracts from a 16-hour discussion in a “room” on the app Clubhouse called “Is there a concentration camp in Xinjiang?” The room attracted an incredible 4,000 participants, but the truly remarkable thing about the conversation was that it brought together Uyghurs and Han Chinese people – both inside and outside China – in a space momentarily beyond government restrictions.

Reliable information about what is happening to the Uyghurs is heavily censored in China; the only news about the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is from state media, which paints Uyghurs as either potential terrorists or grateful recipients of the government’s “re-education” programme.

Before it was banned, Clubhouse briefly provided a brand-new channel for open discussion of one of the most sensitive issues in China today. SupChina described the conversation as “historic,” and it was; historic, moving, tragic and illuminating.

Continue reading “North Korea and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Grim parallels in two of the most repressive parts of the world”