IPAC Newsletter 25 June 2021

IPAC RESPONDS TO CLOSURE OF APPLE DAILY: Apple Daily’s forced closure, following the arrest of several senior figures and freezing of the newspaper’s assets, was condemned in a statement from the IPAC Co-Chairs. IPAC called on democratic states to impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for the crackdown on press freedoms. 

In the European Parliament, Engin Eroglu led an open letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam calling for the release of arrested journalists — signed by IPAC members from across the European Union. IPAC Italy member Paolo Formentini addressed Prime Minister Mario Draghi in Parliament, calling for Italy to heighten coordination with democratic allies on Hong Kong.  

IPAC LEADS CALLS FOR XINJIANG ACTION AT UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: Over 60 IPAC members from 18 legislatures called for the UN to establish a Commission of Inquiry into alleged Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity taking place in the Uyghur Region, as covered by CBC News. The letter was addressed to Foreign Ministers and the President of the UN Human Rights Council ahead of its meeting this week. 

US UYGHUR FORCED LABOR PREVENTION ACT ADVANCES: The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention act, authored by IPAC Senators Marco Rubio and Jeff Merkley has advanced through the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Bill will ensure that goods made with Uyghur forced labour do not enter the US through issuing a presumptive ban on imports from Xinjiang. 

Earlier this week, the US Government announced import bans on Xinjiang solar technology firm Hoshine for its use of Uyghur forced labour. This follows IPAC calls for G7 states to block the import of solar technology products tainted by Uyghur forced labour.

IPAC NEW ZEALAND SAYS NO TO CHINA EXTRADITION: IPAC MPs Louisa Wall and Simon O’Connor called for the government to guarantee that New Zealand residents and citizens would not be extradited to China. The letter, addressed to Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, noted that the Chinese government’s promises on the treatment and fair trial of those extradited have been broken in numerous cases.

BUNDESTAG COMMITTEE CONDEMNS XINJIANG ‘CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY’: The Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Committee concluded that abuses in the Uyghur Region constitute Crimes Against Humanity. The Committee, featuring IPAC members Margarete Bause, Gyde Jensen and Michael Brand, echoed IPAC calls for a UN Commission of Inquiry into atrocity crimes taking place in Xinjiang. Read the statement here.

UK PARLIAMENT DEBATES MAGNITSKY SANCTIONS ON CHINA: A House of Lords debate on the impact of the UK’s human rights sanction regime saw IPAC members Baroness Helena Kennedy and Bishop Alan Smith call for tougher economic measures on China in response to abuses in Hong Kong and the Uyghur Region. 

BEIJING WINTER OLYMPICS CAMPAIGN UPDATE: IPAC member Gyde Jensen MdB asked State Secretary Markus Kerber whether the German government is considering staging a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, in light of severe human rights abuses in the Uyghur Region. SBS News covered the impact of the IPAC campaign on the Winter Olympics in Australia, with Senator Eric Abetz having launched a petition this week. 

REPORT REVEALS CHINA’S SECRET DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL: A new report from Safeguard Defenders reveals tens of thousands have been subjected to arbitrary detention under China’s “residential surveillance at a designated location” system, with political dissidents frequently targeted. Former detainees recount solitary confinement, torture and other abuses. Read the full report here