UN: Assign a Special Rapporteur to Monitor Crimes Against the Uyghurs!

Secretary-General António Guterres 
United Nations UN Headquarters, 
S-3800 New York, 
NY 10017 

December 10, 2020 

Re: Call on the United Nations to Assign a Special Rapporteur to Monitor Crimes against the Uyghurs and Other Turkic Minorities in the People’s Republic of China

Dear Secretary General,

Right now, up to three million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim-majority peoples are being held behind several layers of fences, barriers, and sophisticated surveillance, in concentration camps in what the Chinese government calls the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in Northwest China.

The Chinese government is persecuting its Turkic peoples through a ruthless, industrialized campaign of brainwashing, torture, and dehumanisation, which amounts to genocide. Inside the internment camps, leaked documents have revealed the sheer size and scale of the detentions taking place, while survivor testimonies have alleged that internees are forced to eat pork, drink alcohol, and denounce their identity as Muslims. Detainees are also alleging that they are forced to take pills, injections, and are subjected to sterilization procedures, medical experiments, organ harvesting, and, in some cases, sexual violence. 

It must be noted that the subjection and suffering of the Uyghur people is not limited to the internment camps or indeed the so-called XUAR. For instance, as part of the Chinese government’s so-called “Uyghur Aid Initiative”, Uyghur population transfers are commonplace to erode Uyghur culture and to facilitate forced labour across China. It is estimated that between 2017 and 2019 some 80,000 Uyghurs have been transferred to assigned factories around China. This indicates that repression of Uyghurs is not confined to any one region of the country, but China as a whole. 

Additionally, the whole Uyghhur region is under complete surveillance which makes it impossible for Uyghurs to move freely. Uyghurs are not even afforded privacy rights, as they are forced to welcome Han cadres into their homes as part of the “Pair Up and Become Family” campaign. Indeed, as part of this campaign, there have been reports of forced interethnic marriages by the Chinese government upon Han men and Uyghur women. Furthermore, under the cloak of security issues cultural and religious heritage is destroyed comprehensively.

These crimes amount to Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. The United Nations was founded on the promise of “Never Again”, on the promise of international cooperation instead of war and crimes. But too often, the international community stood idly by, when genocide was committed. This time, the international community needs to act.

Accordingly, and in line with the sentiments expressed by a number of UN experts and special rapporteurs to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in June 2020, we, the undersigned, urge the United Nations to assign a special rapporteur to monitor the crimes being committed against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in the People’s Republic of China in order to effectively document the rights abuses and present a clear body of evidence for concerted international action.

The United Nations cannot stand by in the face of genocide when its founding principles are so grossly violated.


The European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS);

The Jewish Student Union of Germany (JSUD);

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC);

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP);

The Austrian Union of Jewish Students (JöH);

The French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF);

The Jewish Student Union of Belgium (UEJB);

The Union of Jewish Students for the UK and Ireland (UJS);

MEP Nicola Beer, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Germany, RENEW Europe;

MEP Ilana Cicurel, France, RENEW Europe;

MEP Dr. Dietmar Köster, Germany, Socialists & Democrats;

MEP Brando Benifei, Italy, Socialists & Democrats;

MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Germany, Greens/EFA;

MEP David Lega, Sweden, The European People’s Party;

MEP Miriam Lexmann, Slovakia, The European People’s Party;

René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights;

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC/AJC);

The Jewish Movement for Uyghur Freedom (JMUF);

The European Students’ Union (ESU);

The Global Student Forum (GSF);

Uyghur American Association (UAA);

European Liberal Youth (LYMEC);

International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY);

Jewish World Watch (JWW);

The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG).

Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV)

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