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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the Xinjiang Police Files

7.6.2022 - (2022/2700(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 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Reinhard Bütikofer, Anna Cavazzini, Gwendoline Delbos‑Corfield, Heidi Hautala, Marie Toussaint, Hannah Neumann, Mounir Satouri, Ignazio Corrao, Tineke Strik, Henrike Hahn, Bronis Ropė, Yannick Jadot
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0310/2022

Eljárás : 2022/2700(RSP)
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B9‑0318/2022

European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the Xinjiang Police Files

(2022/2700(RSP))

The European Parliament,

   having regard to its previous resolutions and reports on the situation in China, in particular those of 17 December 2020 on the Forced labour and the situation of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and of 19 December 2019 on the situation of the Uyghurs in China (China Cables),

   having regard to the Sakharov Prize 2019 awarded to Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur economist fighting peacefully for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority,

   having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 12 March 2019 entitled ‘EU-China – A strategic outlook’ (JOIN(2019)0005),

-  having regard to the Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet after official visit to China of 28 May 2022,

   having regard to the UN experts’ call of 26 June 2020 for decisive measures to protect fundamental freedoms in China,

   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 thereof, which upholds the rights of minority ethnicities,

   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966, which China signed in 1998, but which it has never ratified,

   having regard to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights of 2011,

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

   having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

A.   whereas the promotion of and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law should remain at the centre of the long-standing relationship between the EU and China, in line with the EU’s commitment to upholding these values in its external action and China’s expressed interest in adhering to them in its own development and international cooperation;

B.   whereas the situation in Xinjiang has been seriously deteriorating, particularly since the launch of the Chinese Government’s ‘Strike Hard against Violent Terrorism’ campaign in 2014; whereas Uyghurs and other primarily Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have been subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, egregious restrictions on religious practice and culture, and to a highly pervasive digitalised surveillance system, coupled with an extensive and intrusive police presence; whereas according to credible reports, more than one million people, are, or have been, detained in what Chinese authorities call ‘vocational skills education and training’ centres, which in fact amount to the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic minority population in the world today; whereas evidence of all these violations show that the Chinese government has been committing crimes against humanity;

C. whereas on 24 May 2022 data from within Xinjiang police’s computer networks, the so-called Xinjiang Police Files (the Files), was released through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media outlets; whereas the Files contain, among others, a collection of classified and internal Chinese government’s documents, top leaders’ speeches, internal police manuals and personnel information and thousands of images of detained Uyghurs and of highly sensitive locations, thereby corroborating all the violations already reported previously; whereas the data leaked contain a transcript of internal speeches by Chinese authorities demonstrating the direct implication of the Chinese central government, including Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang;

D.   whereas, as part of official schemes on targeted birth prevention, Chinese authorities are systematically subjecting Uyghur women of childbearing age to forced abortions, intrauterine injections and sterilisation;

E. whereas the denial of free and full access to persons and places by the Chinese authorities to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, during her visit to China, including Xinjiang, has undermined the possibility of an independent, on-site assessment of the human rights violations in XUAR; whereas the publication of the OHCHR Report on human rights violations in Xinjiang has now been repeatedly delayed since indications in December 2021 that the report would be released “in a matter of weeks”;

F.   whereas, in parallel to the ‘Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism’, labour transfer programmes have become a systemic and widespread practice since 2014; whereas there have been several credible reports of forced Uyghur labour in production chains in the clothing, agriculture, renewable energy, technology and automotive sectors; whereas 84 % of Chinese cotton comes from the XUAR, which means that the whole Chinese cotton supply chain is at extraordinarily high risk of being tainted with forced and prison labour, whether manufactured in China or anywhere else in the world; whereas recent research conducted on isotopes found traces of Xinjiang cotton in apparel made by Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss, thereby contradicting the German clothing companies’ promises to revise their supply chains after allegations of widespread forced labour in the XUAR;

G. Whereas the implementation of import restrictions in response to state-imposed forced labour, as a complement to a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, would be a powerful dissuasive tool to prevent both EU and non-EU companies from importing such products into the EU market and to put pressure on the perpetrating governments to end such practices; whereas in the case of the XUAR, it would compel companies importing products to the EU market to undertake meaningful supply chain mapping and traceability to identify and eliminate the sourcing of inputs from the XUAR in their products, and to end relationships with suppliers using Uyghur forced labour in their facilities;

1.   Condemns in the strongest possible terms the ongoing persecution of Uyghur, ethnic Kazakh and other Muslim minority groups in the XUAR, and the serious and systematic human rights violations that amount to crimes against humanity; urges the Chinese Government to put an immediate end to the practice of arbitrary detention without charge, trial or conviction for criminal offences of members of the Uyghur and other Muslim minorities, to close all camps and detention centres, and to immediately and unconditionally release all those detained; calls on the Chinese authorities to cease government-sponsored programmes of forced labour and mass sterilisation; calls on the Chinese authorities in the XUAR to provide information about the location and medical conditions of those detained, and to immediately release them if there is no evidence of actual criminal activity;

2. Urges the Commission to adopt a proposal for a trade-based mechanism banning the marketing of products made or transported with forced labour, as a complementary tool to the future EU Corporate Due Diligence Directive; stresses the importance to ensure that such legislative proposal is effectively designed to address instances of systemic state-imposed forced labour like in the XUAR, that is remedy-centered, and puts the burden of proof on importers to provide evidence, based on ILO standards, while allowing for the verification and independent monitoring by trade unions and civil society, that a product is not made or transported with forced labour; furthermore, calls on the Commission to require companies to map and publicly disclose subsidiaries, suppliers, sub-suppliers, contractors and business partners in their whole value chains;

3. stresses that the recent revelations through the Xinjiang Police Files provide further strong evidence that the PRC has been committing crimes against humanity against Uyghur and other Muslim minorities, as well as of the direct responsibility of the highest political level, in devising and implementing the mass internment campaign in the XUAR; urges the Member States and VP/HR to swiftly evaluate the adoption of additional sanctions targeting Chinese high ranking officials, such as Chen Quanguo, Zhao Kezhi, Guo Shengkun and Hu Lianhe;

4.  Welcomes the decision by the German government to reject a request by Volkswagen AG to renew risk insurance for the car maker’s operations in China, which was justified based on the human rights violations against the Uyghur minority in XUAR; expresses its strong view  that EU-China trade and investment relations cannot continue business as usual in light of the massive repressive practices by the Chinese government due to the high risks of complicity with serious human rights violations and calls on EU companies to withdraw their investments from Xinjiang;

5. Deplores that, in the framework of her visit to China and the XUAR, Chinese authorities did not allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to have full access to independent civil society organisations, human rights defenders and detention centres, which prevented her from witnessing the full scale of political re-education camps in Xinjiang; Urges the High Commissioner to immediately publish the long-awaited report on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, based on the available and ever-increasing broad body of evidence of the scale and gravity of human rights violations being committed by the Chinese authorities;

6.  Acknowledges that EU-China relations are increasingly characterised by economic competition and systemic rivalry; Applauds the EU leadership for raising the grave violations in Xinjiang at the recent EU-China summit and stresses the importance of continuing raising the issue on every occasion and at the highest level, both in the framework of EU-China bilateral settings and internationally; Calls on the EU to proactively work towards an independent UN inquiry on China with a view to ensuring accountability for the crimes committed and to support the creation of a UN Special Rapporteur on China;

7. Calls on the Chinese authorities to fully implement, in the framework of the 110th session of the ILO International Labour Conference, the observations that the ILO’s Committee of Experts will deliver with regard to China’s implementation of the ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), in relation to the alleged violations of labour rights and standards in the treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minority groups in China;

8.   Expresses deep concern over reports showing that the Chinese government has drastically increased its transnational repression and attempts to forcibly return Uyghurs and other exiled groups living in Europe; reiterates its call on the Commission and all EU Member States to investigate these reports, to ensure the protection of members of the Xinjiang diaspora, and to expedite asylum requests from Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims; welcomes the decision already taken by some Member States  to suspend the return of all ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs or other Turkic Muslims to China in view of the risk of arbitrary detention, torture or other ill-treatment and calls on the other Member States to step up decisions to suspend their extradition treaties with the PRC, as well as with Hong Kong;

9. calls upon the European Commission and other EU bodies to urgently identify and mitigate risks related to Chinese foreign interference, for example through Chinese tech and surveillance companies -  like Dahua, Hikvision, and Huawei - which are also being directly involved in the execution of the repressive monitoring and controlling of the population and in the internment camp system in the XUAR;

10.  Calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the Uyghur scholar and Sakharov Prize 2019 winner Ilham Tohti, and to ensure, in the meantime, that he has regular and unrestricted access to his family and the lawyers of his choice, and that he is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment; calls for an immediate, effective and impartial investigation into the alleged torture of Ilham Tohti and for those responsible to be brought to justice;

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

 

 

 

Utolsó frissítés: 2022. június 8.
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