Social and human rights activist Shunichi Fujiki delivered a powerful message during the 38th meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, shining a spotlight on the suffering of the Uyghur community in Xinjiang due to the actions of Mainland China.

Expressing deep concern, Fujiki highlighted the systematic human rights abuses faced by the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. He emphasized China’s refusal to allow access to the region, making it difficult to independently verify reports of discrimination, arbitrary detention, and forced labor.

Despite the obstacles, mounting evidence from NGOs, journalists, and academics reveals a troubling pattern of human rights violations. Fujiki outlined China’s attempts to erase the unique Uyghur identity and culture through mass detentions in so-called “vocational training centers,” which effectively serve as internment camps. These facilities subject individuals to political indoctrination, forced labor, and attempts at cultural assimilation.

Uyghur Crisis

Referring to a 2023 report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Fujiki raised concerns about mass surveillance, restrictions on religious practices, and forced sterilizations.

Fujiki urged the UNHRC to take immediate action, calling for free access to Xinjiang for observers, including UN human rights experts, the release of arbitrarily detained individuals, and a comprehensive investigation into allegations of torture, forced labor, and cultural assimilation.

Additionally, he appealed to member states to enact legislation prohibiting the import of goods produced with forced labor in Xinjiang. Fujiki emphasized the urgent need for decisive actions to address the oppressive conditions faced by the Uyghur community.

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