Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the High-level virtual event on the situation of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, May 12

13.05.2021 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Jewher, thank you so much for your remarks. Your shocking account underlines once more why this event is so important and timely.  It doesn’t happen often that major NGO‘s and a number of member states join forces to organise an event like today‘s. It demonstrates the gravity of the situation of the oppressed Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. I want to thank all the co-sponsors who came together despite some massive Chinese threats.

Let me be clear: human rights are universal and all UN member states have the unconditional obligation to respect them. From what we hear today, this is clearly not the case in Xinjiang. We appeal on China to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and tear down the detention camps. If you have nothing to hide, why don‘t you finally grant unimpeded access to the HCHR?

Dear colleagues, despite the pressure exerted on many of us, let‘s commit to continue our efforts until the Uighurs can live again in freedom, until they are no longer detained, no longer victims of forced labor and other human rights abuses, until they can exercise  freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

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