How Bachelet and the United Nations have failed the Uyghurs in China and the Human Rights #Forum2000online

July 21, 2022

Did Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the United Nations fail the Uyghurs in China? How? Why?

In this week’s #Forum2000online Chat, Rushan Abbas, the founder and executive director of Campaign for Uyghurs based in Washington D.C., U.S., joined Kateřina Procházková, analyst at Sinopsis, a project of the Institute of East Asian Studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, to talk about the current situation in Xinjiang and to answer these questions.

“Why Michelle Bachelet is not releasing the report, why is she being so influenced by China […] Am I surprised? Not really”, says Ms. Abbas.

According to Rushan Abbas, you will learn that:

  • Millions of people are missing and the current situation is very bad. A genocide is taking place and innocent people are sent to concentration camps and forced labor facilities.
  • Uyghur women are victims of sterilizations and forced abortions. Children are taken from their families and sent to state-run orphanages.
  • The regime operates a surveillance system with social credit, tracking devices on vehicles and QR scanning codes on homes.
  • Beijing operates combining ultra-nationalistic policies with racism and cutting-edges technology.
  • Michelle Bachelet failed her own office and her responsibility as a High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her visit legitimized the Chinese government's genocide perpetrated against the Uyghurs and her comments served the Chinese Communist Party propaganda machine and narrative.
  • For the Chinese regime, “human rights” are not universal. Human rights “with Chinese characteristics” are whatever the Chinese government decides they are. The regime basically treats Uyghurs as secondary citizens in their own homeland.
  • China is the second largest donor to the UN. It has the power to influence who is going to be the head of which council. In addition, the trade threats, the Belt and Road Initiative and the debt trap diplomacy are important factors to be considered.  
  • The Human Rights Council is not only disappointing the Uyghurs and failing to protect them, but also failing the founding principles of the United Nations. This jeopardizes freedom and democracy in the world. Democratic nations must stop the violation of human rights and apply the necessary sanctions.

The interview was recorded on July 11, 2022, and moderated by Kateřina Procházková, analyst at Sinopsis, a project of the Institute of East Asian Studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.