Geneva [Switzerland]: On March 23, China interrupted and attempted to block a prominent Uyghur activist from speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where he pointed out the grim human rights violations by Beijing and sought the urgent intervention of the global body.
Dolkun Isa, Uyghur Congress president who is based in Germany was interrupted as he began speaking in a general debate during the 52nd Session of the UNHRC. As soon as Isa began speaking, a Chinese diplomat interrupted his speech and demanded the floor to object and UN Human Rights Council President Vaclav Balek allowed China’s representative to make a statement.
The Chinese diplomat said Dolkun Isa does not represent the “so-called NGO” and called him an “anti-China and separatist, violent element.” “President, we have reason to challenge the qualification of that speaker. He is not the representative of a so-called NGO, still a less human rights defender. Rather, he is an anti-China and separatist violent element,” the Chinese diplomat at the UNHRC said.
The US and Eritrea representatives spoke up to show their support to Dolkun Isa, and the UN official allowed the Uyghur activist to make his remarks.
Dolkun Isa, while speaking exclusively to ANI, said, “China is very afraid of truth and justice. Today, I made a statement and China tried to stop me and called me a separatist and anti-China. I am not demanding any separation from China. I am not demanding Shanghai or Beijing. This is my country (Xinjiang), it’s an occupied territory and China should accept this”.
He added that the UN Human Rights Council is a forum where all human rights concerns must be raised.
“I am raising here a human rights issue and China government is committing genocide against Uyghurs. But, the Chinese government is unhappy and they don’t want the Uyghur issue to become an international issue,” he added.
Dolkun Isa said, “Chinese Government is trying to attack me, trying to stop me and this is not the first time, ofcourse”.
Earlier, in his intervention, Dolkun Isa said, “We welcome the High Commissioner’s update on the urgent human rights situation in the Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China and the renewed concerns of a number of governments in their High-level statements”.
Increased calls from UN Special Rapporteurs and several reports on the crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated against the Uyghur and Turkic people, including the High commissioner’s report require the immediate and urgent attention of this Council.
Dolkun Isa said, “Last October, we saw the defeat of a decision merely calling for a debate on the human rights situation in the region. However, many member states have voted against or abstained”.
The Council rejected a draft decision entitled debate on the situation of human rights in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China in October 2022 by a vote of 17 in favour, 19 against and 11 abstentions, the official release of the United Nations Human Rights office of the High Commissioner read.
The US voted in favour of the draft, whereas Pakistan voted against it. India, however, abstained from the vote.
The Uyghur activist pointed out that many member states had voiced against and abstained on the vote. He said, “Many member states have voiced against and abstained with the poll that this Council was unable to support this case decision, and we strongly condemn that country who blocks this proposal, particularly leading OIC state.”
In his remarks at the UNHRC, Dolkun Isa also lauded Somalia for voting in favour in the poll. He spoke about the policy implemented by China with regard to Uyghurs.
He said, “We uphold Somalia for being only Muslim Council member to vote in favour. Last month during the UN. ..revealed on China Government admits that Uyghurs and other two people are sent to the camp for minor offences that are not considered other crimes.”
Dolkun Isa informed the Council, “Last month, during the UN CESCR review on China, the Government admitted that Uyghurs and other Turkic people are sent to camps for ”minor offences” that are not considered as crimes. However, official leaked documents indicate that these individuals are serving lengthy sentences on charges related to “terrorism” and “Separatism”, including my two own brothers, Yalkun Isa and Hushtar Isa”.
“We remind this Council that the “de-extensification” policies implemented by the Chinese Government are not proportional, legal or necessary”, he said.