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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Kazakhs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

2.10.2018 - (2018/2863(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Reinhard Bütikofer, Helga Trüpel, Molly Scott Cato, Barbara Lochbihler, Bodil Valero, Heidi Hautala, Michel Reimon, Igor Šoltes on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0460/2018

Förfarande : 2018/2863(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Kazakhs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on China and in particular to the one of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU-China relations,


-having regard to Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which guarantees all citizens the right to freedom of religious belief and to Article 4 that upholds the rights of ‘minority nationalities’,


-having further regard for the EU’s Item 4 oral statements at the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 18 September 2018, and the Item 4 statements of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Finland and Canada, which expressed concern at the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs in ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang,


-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966,


-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,


-having regard to the concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s review of China,


-having regard to the General Allegation letter sent in May 2018 by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to the Chinese government expressing their concern at the trend of enforced disappearances of Uyghurs into the ‘re-education camps’,


-having regard to remarks made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet in her address to the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 10 September 2018, in which she expressed deep concern about the ‘re-education camps’ and asked the Chinese government to admit independent investigators,


-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A.whereas the situation in Xinjiang, where 10 million Muslim Uighurs and ethnic Kazakhs live, has rapidly deteriorated, in particular since President Xi’s ascension to power, as absolute control of Xinjiang has been elevated to a top priority, driven by both periodic terrorist attacks in or allegedly connected to Xinjiang by Uighurs and the strategic location of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region for the BRI,

B.whereas an extrajudicial detention programme has been established, holding tens of thousands of people who are forced to undergo political ‘re-education’, as well as the development of a sophisticated network of invasive digital surveillance, including facial recognition technology and data collection, mass deployment of police, and strict restrictions on religious practices and the Uighur language and customs;


C.whereas numerous credible reports from academics, media outlets and reputable NGOs like Human Rights Watch, China Human Rights Defenders, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal have alleged that an estimated one million Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs are being arbitrarily detained in a system of internment camps in the framework of this extrajudicial detention programme by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region detailing the scale and inner workings of the camps;


D.whereas firsthand testimony has alleged that detainees are being held in poor conditions and are being subjected to torture and political indoctrination aimed at eroding religious belief,


E.whereas detainees are not officially charged with any crime, are denied their basic legal rights and are being held against their will for undetermined periods of time, and are therefore being arbitrarily detained,


F.whereas reports have indicated that Uyghurs with family members living abroad and those with religious beliefs have been targeted in particular for detention,


G.whereas the Chinese government has repeatedly denied arbitrarily detaining Uyghurs and Kazakhs in internment camps while admitting running “vocational education centres”, where individuals receive “professional training”,


H.whereas, the Chinese government has refused numerous requests from the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN Special Procedures mandates to send independent investigators to Xinjiang,


I.whereas thousands of children have been reportedly separated from their parents, who are arbitrarily detained in the camps, and are being held in overcrowded orphanages,


1.Expresses its deepest concern at the sending of thousands of Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs to political ‘re-education camps’ based on analysis of the data harvested through a system of ‘predictive policing’, including for having travelled abroad or being adjudged to be too religiously devout and urges the Chinese authorities to free those reportedly detained for their beliefs or cultural practices and identities;


2.Stresses that imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, persecution against any identifiable group on ethnic, cultural or religious grounds, and other inhumane acts causing great suffering or serious injury, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, amount to crimes against humanity; urges the PRC government to immediately close those camps and to put an end to all abuses against the civilian population in Xinjiang, and to allow independent, international investigators full access to the region as called for by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;


3.Reiterates its call on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti and all others detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression and.pending thes release, calls on China to ensure that they have regular, unrestricted access to their families and lawyers of their choice; calls, furthermore, for the release of, Eli Mamut, Hailaite Niyazi, Memetjan Abdulla, Abduhelil Zunun and Abdukerim Abduweli as asked by the EU during the 36th round of the EU-China Human Rights dialogue held in Beijing on 9-10 July 2018;


4.Stresses that Xi’s proclamation that BRI will ‘benefit people across the whole world’ as it will be based on the ‘Silk Road spirit’ of ‘peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness’ is far removed from the reality confronting Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs in Xinjiang;


5.Calls on the Chinese government to reveal the names, whereabouts and current status of all those who have effectively disappeared in Xinjiang;


6.Regrets that Xi’s declaration about the vital importance of ‘long-term stability’ in Xinjiang to the success of BRI has resulted in the intensification of longstanding strategies of control augmented by a variety of technological innovations and a rapid increase in expenditure on domestic security, and the use of counter-terrorism measures to criminalize dissent and dissident individuals via the application of a broad definition of terrorism;


7.Expresses its deep concern at the state’s implementation of measures to ensure the ‘comprehensive supervision’ of the region via installation of China’s ‘Skynet’ electronic surveillance in major urban areas, installations of GPS trackers in all motor vehicles, use of facial recognition scanners at checkpoints and at train and petrol stations, and a blood-collecting effort by Xinjiang’s police to further expand China’s DNA database;


8.Calls, in this regard, on the EU, its Member States and the international community to work towards the imposition of appropriate export control mechanisms to deny China access to technologies used to violate basic rights;


9.Urges the Chinese government to publicly acknowledge the scale and nature of detentions of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities in the internment camps;


10.Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the institutions of the European Union to continue to publicly raise this issue with the Chinese government in their bilateral meetings and in international fora;


11.Is deeply concerned by the numerous allegations of poor conditions, torture and deaths inside the camps;


12.Urges the Chinese government to amend current its legislation that has an overly broad definition of what constitutes acts of terrorism in the Counterterrorism Law (2015) and the Regulation on De-Extremification and to clearly differentiate between peaceful dissent and violent extremism;


13.Recalls the importance that the EEAS, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy raise the issue of human rights violations in China, in particular the case of minorities in Xinjiang, at every occasion and at the highest levels both in bilateral meetings and international fora , starting from the upcoming Europe-Asia (ASEM) Summit in Brussels as well as during China’s Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council and at every political and human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities, in line with the EU’s commitment to project a strong, clear and unified voice in its approach to the country; further points out that, as part of its ongoing reform process and increasing global engagement, China has opted into the international human rights framework by signing up to a wide range of international human rights treaties, and therefore calls for dialogue to be pursued with China to live up to these commitments;


14.Welcomes the decision taken by Germany and Sweden to suspend the return of all ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs or other Turkic Muslims to China in consideration of the risks of arbitrary detention, torture or other ill-treatment they would face in the country, and calls on all other member states to follow suit and to expedite asylum claims by Turkic Muslims at risk of being forcibly returned to China; further calls on all EU member states to investigate the Chinese government’s intimidation of Turkic Muslim diaspora communities in Europe, and invoke domestic law as appropriate;


15.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and the Parliament of the People’s Republic of China.


Senaste uppdatering: 2 oktober 2018
Rättsligt meddelande - Integritetspolicy