Germany-based Uyghur rights organisation, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) has demanded that Australia recognise China’s atrocities against the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.

The demand raised by the WUC comes before the March 20 scheduled meeting of the foreign ministers of China and Australia, according to a press release by the WUC.

The press release of the WUC stated that “on March 20, China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, will travel to Australia to meet with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, marking the first high-level visit from Beijing in nearly seven years. The two foreign ministers will be attending the 7th Australia-China Foreign and Strategic Dialogue, focusing on discussions regarding human rights and regional security matters.

The statement also quoted World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa “The Australian government has historically approached its relations with China cautiously. It is therefore concerning to witness the warming of Australian-Chinese relations at this time. This is an opportunity for Foreign Minister Penny Wong to hold China accountable with concrete actions, not merely with empty statements.”

The same statement also mentioned that “as Chinese-Australian relations tighten, the World Uyghur Congress calls on the Australian government to prioritise human rights in its dialogue with China. Merely raising concerns is not enough when engaging with a government that is committing genocide, particularly with a sizeable Uyghur community in Australia.”

The WUC statement emphasised that “concrete actions are needed, including applying Magnitsky-style sanctions on those Chinese government officials responsible for human rights abuses and genocide against Uyghurs, and supporting the creation of a UN Special Rapporteur on China to report on and investigate the human rights situation in the country. To date, the Australian government has not officially recognised Uyghurs as victims of genocide and has taken relatively fewer measures to protect Uyghur refugees and other communities from China’s transnational repression.”

However, it must be noted that previously, in 2022, the Australian government raised deep concerns regarding the condition of the Uyghur community because of China’s oppression.

A statement given by the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2022 stated that “the Australian Government is deeply concerned about the findings of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report on Xinjiang.”

The report concluded that serious human rights violations have been committed in Xinjiang, that included the first-hand testimonies of Uyghur and other minority peoples in Xinjiang.

Facebook Comments Box
Translate »