U.S. MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN GENEVA
For Immediate Release
June 25, 2019
Condemning Vice Governor of Xinjiang’s Human Rights Council Address
On Tuesday, June 25, the Vice Governor of China’s Xinjiang Province Aierken Tuniyazi addressed the UN Human Rights Council and attempted to justify the Chinese government’s widespread repression against religious and ethnic minorities. His remarks are an embarrassment to the Council, which once again has granted a representative of one of the world’s worst human rights abusers a platform for propaganda.
The United States is alarmed by China’s highly repressive campaign against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in Xinjiang, an area over which the Vice Governor presides. This campaign includes the forced detention of more than one million individuals in camps; torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; pervasive, high-tech surveillance; controls on expression of cultural and religious identities; and more. China’s claims that the Xinjiang camps are “humane job-training centers” are outright falsehoods. The Chinese Communist Party has exhibited extreme hostility to all religious faiths since its founding, but even by that low standard, the Xinjiang repression is alarming.
The United States remains committed to promoting accountability for those who commit human rights violations or abuses. We continue to call on the Chinese government to release immediately all those arbitrarily detained and to respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also call upon Chinese authorities to cease efforts to coerce members of Muslim minority groups residing abroad to return to China to face an uncertain fate, and urge other governments not to assist with such efforts.
The Xinjiang Vice Governor’s use of the Human Rights Council as a platform to defend Beijing’s repressive policies is inexcusable. The Council should hold governments and their representatives who violate human rights accountable for their actions if it values its legitimacy and credibility on the world stage.