The IPAC Co-Chairs have sent the below communication to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Michelle Bachelet following the announcement that her office will be visiting the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in May 2022.
Ms Michelle Bachelet
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson – 52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)
09 March 2022
Dear High Commissioner Ms Bachelet,
We write regarding the announcement that your office has reached an agreement with the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to visit the country in May this year, including the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
As members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), we have repeatedly called for the PRC government to grant access to independent, legal investigations into the alleged genocide and crimes against humanity taking place in the XUAR. We therefore welcome this visit in the expectation that it will be unfettered and independent, as publicly requested by your office on numerous occasions.
The announced visit of the OHCHR to the region demonstrates the growing international pressure on the PRC government to put a stop to its brutal crackdown on the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in China. We hope that your visit to the XUAR will further our understanding of these abuses, and open the way to legal accountability for the alleged violations.
We, as parliamentarians from across the world, stand ready to support the investigation through providing information on cases of egregious human rights abuses in the Uyghur Region. Please allow us to extend an invitation for you to meet with the Co-Chairs of our group to share our concerns at a time of your convenience in advance of the visit.
We pledge to use the opportunity presented by this visit to continue to advocate for the Uyghurs and all groups oppressed by the PRC government.
Katarina Ammitzboll, Member of the Danish Folketing
Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament
Samuel Cogolati, Member of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium
Hon. Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Uffe Elbaek, Member of the Danish Folketing
Pavel Fischer, Member of the Czech Senate
Joar Forssell, Member of the Swedish Riksdag
André Gattolin, Member of the French Senate
Els Van Hoof MP, Member of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium
Baroness (Helena) Kennedy QC, Member of the UK House of Lords
Elisabet Lann, Deputy Mayor of Gothenburg
Miriam Lexmann, Member of the European Parliament
Constance Le Grip, Member of the French National Assembly
Fabian Molina, Member of the National Council of Switzerland
Simon O’Connor, Member of the New Zealand Parliament
Senator James Paterson, Member of the Australian Senate
Dovilė Šakalienė, Member of the Lithuanian Parliament
Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, Member of the Dutch House of Representatives
Tom van der Lee MP, Member of the Dutch House of Representatives
Louisa Wall MP, Member of the New Zealand Parliament
CO-CHAIRS OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY ALLIANCE ON CHINA