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Parliamentary questions
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15 January 2019
E-000162-19
Question for written answer E-000162-19
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) , Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD) , Mark Demesmaeker (ECR) , Csaba Sógor (PPE) , Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE) , László Tőkés (PPE)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Follow-up to the answer to Written Question E-004540/2018 on the mass arbitrary detention of 1 million Uyghurs — Deteriorating situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

While the EU has become increasingly vocal on the issue in recent months, the situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has continued to deteriorate, as credible reports indicate that the internment camp network(1) arbitrarily detaining an estimated 1 million Uyghurs and other ethnic Turkic peoples has continued to expand(2). The camps constitute a massive effort to forcibly culturally assimilate an entire ethnic group and erode the unique Uyghur identity.

The Chinese Government has also taken recent steps to formalise(3) the camp networks through regional policy(4) and its crackdown on religious freedom, declaring a five-year campaign to ‘sinicise’ Islam(5). These developments indicate that the camps and the persecution of Uyghurs are becoming a permanent fixture of Chinese policy.

The scale and severity of the situation has led many academics and commentators to label China’s actions in the region as a ‘crime against humanity’(6) (7), necessitating further concrete action from the EU.

Considering the gravity of the situation:
1. What further action is the EU taking to push for the closure of the internment camps and for the release of the detainees?
2. What steps is it taking to implement the Urgency Resolution(8) passed by Parliament on 4 October 2018 on this issue?
3. Will it consider levying sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for these serious human rights violations?

(1)https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/China_hidden_camps
(2)https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/muslims-camps-china/
(3)https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45812419
(4)https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-Homepage/52881/statement-spokesperson-situation-xinjiang_en
(5)https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/china-passes-law-islam-compatible-socialism-190105185031063.html
(6)https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/26/opinions/xinjiang-china-caster-intl/index.html
(7)https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/10/11/chinas-abuses-muslim-region-may-constitute-crimes-humanity-says-us-congressman/
(8)Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0377.

Last updated: 11 February 2019Legal notice