Press Releases

Chinese Violation of Human Rights in Xinjiang Press Release

The New York City Bar Association has written a letter to China’s President, Xi Xinping, its Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi, and the Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Chen Quanguo, to “express our grave concern regarding the treatment of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Hui and other Muslim and Turkic peoples in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”

“Work by researchers has revealed that individuals who are members of Muslim and Turkic ethnic groups are being sentenced to criminal punishment without due process of law and held indefinitely in internment camps” the letter says. This and other repressive practices “violate China’s treaty obligations as well as its obligations under customary international law,” which the letter lays out in full.

The letter names six “core international human rights conventions” that China has signed, which bind it to prohibit the sort of degrading practices that it has employed, and “to safeguard economic, social and cultural rights of all individuals.” The letter describes the particular rights safeguarded under each treaty, and the specific obligations that China assumes as signatory. It also lays out the various ways in which reports “raise serious concerns that China is violating numerous human rights principles and obligations.”

“The Chinese government must act now to protect Muslim and Turkic ethnic groups and cease all” repressive practices, the letter concludes. It appeals to the spirit of the Olympic Games, which China will host in 2022, and which in China’s own words is an “opportunity to lend its traditional wisdom on peace to the world and share its vision of peaceful development.” The letter enumerates steps China must take to address its human rights violations, imploring the Chinese state to live up to its language of peace “including by ending the violation of the rights of its Muslim and Turkic people.”

The letter can be read here: