07.24.20

Gardner Calls on China to Allow UN Investigation of Treatment of Uighurs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, wrote to the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the United States Cui Tiankai, requesting that the PRC allow for a full investigation by the United Nations (UN) of the treatment of the Uighur population of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

“The official authorities of the People's Republic of China have consistently claimed that Uighurs are treated humanely and respectfully, yet recent drone footage appears to confirm the true extent of the dehumanizing treatment of this population,” wrote Senator Gardner. “An investigation with cameras is not only warranted, but necessary, so that the world can see the truth in Xinjiang. Therefore, I request that you and your government allow a full UN investigation, including cameras, into the treatment of this vulnerable population.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below.

Ambassador Cui:

I write today to request that the government's People's Republic of China (PRC) allow for a full investigation by the United Nations (UN) of the treatment of the Uighur population of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

The recent drone footage showing shackled and shaved Uighur people being led to train cars by armed PRC troops is highly disturbing and contrary to basic human rights. In response to this footage, your government claimed that "Uighur people enjoy peaceful, harmonious coexistence with other ethnic groups of people." However, a consistent stream of accounts out of the region suggest a far bleaker reality for the people who live there.

There is clear evidence that the PRC utilizes invasive surveillance techniques to detain Uighurs. These detentions are arbitrary and have caused grievous harm. Many expatriate Uighurs report unexpected loss of contact with family members still residing in the XUAR only to discover that they have been capriciously imprisoned. These families are told that their loved ones are undergoing " voluntary training and education," but this is clearly not the truth. Even more disturbingly, an investigation by the Associated Press has revealed that many Uighur women have undergone forced sterilization procedures and even abortions in a perverted attempt to reduce their population.

The official authorities of the People's Republic of China have consistently claimed that Uighurs are treated humanely and respectfully, yet recent drone footage appears to confirm the true extent of the dehumanizing treatment of this population. An investigation with cameras is not only warranted, but necessary, so that the world can see the truth in Xinjiang.

Therefore, I request that you and your government allow a full UN investigation, including cameras, into the treatment of this vulnerable population. I look forward to your immediate response.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.