Felles pressmelding fra World Uyghur Congress og Den norske Uighurkomiteen rettet til Utenriksministeren følger nede i engelsk
Torsdag den 11.10.2018 drar Deres Majesteter Kong Harald og Dronning Sonja på statsbesøk til Kina etter å ha takket ja til en invitasjon. Ifølge en pressemelding fra Regjeringen blir de fulgt av flere regjeringsmedlemmer, inkludert utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Søreide. Den Norske Uigurkomiteen synes det er trist at kongeparet har sagt ja til å besøke et av verdens mest brutale diktaturer, som blant annet holder rundt en million uigurer fanget i konsentrasjonsleirliknende omskoleringsleier i det okkuperte Øst Turkestan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regiion). Når først besøket finner sted og utenriksministeren deltar regner vi med at det vil være en rekke ulike separate møter og arrangementer der det vil være mulig for utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Søreide å ta opp den brutale undertrykkelsen av den uiguriske befolkningen. Vi vil sterkt anmode om at det blir gjort.
PRESS RELEASE: NUK and WUC Call on Norway to Raise Mass Arbitrary Detention of Uyghurs in Internment Camps During Official Visit to China
In anticipation of the official state visit of the Norwegian royal family, his Majesty King Harald and Queen Sonja, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide and the rest of the large Norwegian deletation to China from 11-19 October 2018, the Norwegian Uyghur Committee (NUK) and the World Uyghur Congress strongly urges the delegation to publicly raise China’s abysmal human rights record, especially the mass arbitrary detention of 1 million Uyghurs, when meeting with Chinese officials.
The high-profile delegation also includes Norway’s Minister of Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, as well as State Secretaries from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Care and a large delegation representing business interests.
As the delegation prepares for their official visit, the NUK and WUC urges the Norwegian government to consider that while there must be many business-related and economic issues on the agenda for the, human rights issues must not be excluded. Different aspects of Norway’s relationship with China cannot be taken in isolation, but rather must be understood in the broader context, with human rights as a central component.
The massive repressive of Uyghurs by the Chinese government is motivated by and intertwined with China’s geopolitical ambitions and economic initiatives. The unprecedented levels of oppression that the Uyghur people are subjected to is linked to China’s need for ‘stability’ in the region for Xi Jinping’s flagship program, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. Since Xi Jinping has come to power and proposed this initiative, we have witnessed an unprecedented wave of repression against the Uyghur people.
We would like to remind the Norwegian government that as they conduct their visit to China, there are over 1 million innocent Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs being arbitrarily detained in internment camps because of their ethnicity or religious beliefs. This is not an issue that can be ignored for the sake of business relationships, it is one of the most serious human rights crises in the world currently and state officials have a moral responsibility to publicly raise this issue with their Chinese counterparts.
This must not go on any longer. One million Uyghurs are being held in one of the largest mass arbitrary detentions in modern human history. They are being subjected to indoctrination aimed at eroding ties their unique Uyghur identity. The detainees are held in terrible conditions, reportedly subjected to torture and a number have already died in mysterious circumstances in Chinese custody.
We were encouraged by the fact that the Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs publicly raised the issue of the internment camps in their recent visit to China. In recognition of the seriousness of the situation, a number of states and high-level officials have raised this issue, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the European Parliament (which passed a strong urgency resolution on the topic last week) and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini. We strongly urge the Norwegian delegation to join them by raising this issue publicly on their state visit to China and stand up for human rights and human dignity.
China must know the world is watching what is happening to the Uyghur people and will not sit idly by while an entire people and culture is at risk. The Uyghur people are looking to Norway for support and to hold China accountable for these massive human rights violations.
How can trade deals be made with a government that is willing to imprison, demonize and repress an entire people because their existence is seen as a threat to Chinese economic and geopolitical aims. International politics should aspire to improve the situation of the oppressed and vulnerable, not be done at their expense.
Norway has historically been a strong voice on human rights concerns and we appreciate the support Norway has given to the Uyghur community. However, we must call on the Norwegian government to do more to raise the Uyghur situation and human rights by speaking publicly on these issues while in China.
We urge the Norwegian delegation to raise the following three points with their Chinese counterparts: