The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) released its 2022 Annual Report. The 42-page report has sections on The Effects of China’s Zero Covid Policy, The Xinjiang Police Files: An Inside View of the Camp System in East Turkistan, Transnational Repression, Uyghur Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains, International Recognition of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, Addressing Corporate Complicity in the Uyghur Genocide, International Sanctions Against the Chinese Government, Accountability at the United Nations, and Recommendations.
The Covid-19 lockdown had a severe impact on the Uyghurs with some confined to their homes for over 40 days and without food and medicine. The Ürümchi Fire which galvanized all of China to protest against the draconian lockdown policies killed at least 40 people as per the report. The Xinjiang Police Files, as per the report, show over 12 percent of Uyghur adults were detained in 2017/18. “Transnational repression and the threat of deportation has become most urgent for the estimated 50,000 Uyghurs living in Turkey,” says the report. Also, around 292 Uyghurs have been deported to China from Arab states since 2001. More than 350 Uyghurs have been held in Thailand since 2014 with around 109 deported to China. The report states “the Chinese government has put in place a system of state-imposed forced labour, under which millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples are put to work. The Uyghur forced labour must be seen as part of the wider system of oppression in East Turkistan. The system of Uyghur forced labour has implications beyond East Turkistan, as many global industries are sourcing from the region, thereby tainting the supply chains of many companies worldwide.”
The WUC calls on the Chinese government to “immediately end the practice of arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, close all internment camps and detention centers including state boarding schools, and immediately and unconditionally release all detainees, including all journalists, bloggers, scholars, artists, athletes and religious believers imprisoned for peacefully exercising the right to free speech.” It also urges “the current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, should take ownership of the OHCHR report and ensure adequate follow-up at the Human Rights Council.”