The UK and EU must investigate and impose sanctions on Erkin Tuniyaz and other top Chinese officials for their role in the Uyghur Genocide

European and British officials are planning to meet the governor of XUAR, Erkin Tuniyaz, on the Chinese mission’s official trip to the EU and UK. The U.S. has personally sanctioned Tuniyaz for his complicity in the Uyghur Genocide. Governor Tuniyaz bears primary responsibility for the construction and implementation of the architecture of repression in the region, which amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity. EU and UK officials would send the wrong signal to engage with Tuniyaz. 

The international community is currently facing a human rights crisis in China, where the treatment of the Uyghur people has come under scrutiny. Over the past few years, evidence has emerged that suggests that up to three million Uyghurs have been forcibly detained in so-called «re-education camps». The Chinese government has attempted to justify these actions as counter-terrorism measures, but the reality is that they are engaging in systematic oppression, torture, genocide, and crimes against humanity. The governor of Xinjiang, Erkin Tuniyaz, has been implicated in the ongoing human rights abuses taking place in the region. The evidence against him and other top Chinese officials are substantial, and it is imperative that the international community takes action to hold those responsible accountable.

As members of the international community, European states have a responsibility to investigate the potential involvement of Erkin Tuniyaz in the Uyghur Genocide during the visit. The evidence of human rights abuses and atrocities crimes in East Turkistan is overwhelming and cannot be ignored. European states must therefore launch investigations into the role played by Erkin Tuniyaz and other top Chinese officials in the ongoing Uyghur genocide. 

The treatment of the Uyghur people constitutes a gross violation of international human rights law and international criminal law. The international community must not remain silent in the face of such atrocities. The United Nations has a duty to protect human rights and to ensure accountability for human rights violations, and European states must play their part in this effort. In the absence of an international mechanism to hold to account those responsible for the Uyghur genocide, we must seize every opportunity to ensure accountability. Therefore, we urge the U.K and EU to arrest Erkin Tuniyaz if he goes ahead with his planned visit and approve a private prosecution under the principle of Universal Jurisdiction. 

European states have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all individuals, including those of the Uyghur people in East Turkistan. This includes the right to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom from torture, among others. The Chinese government’s actions contravene these fundamental rights and must therefore be condemned in the strongest terms possible.