By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau
August 13, 2022
Isa, in his book made exclusively available to ET, recalled how China manipulated the system to deny him entry at a meeting of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held in New York in 2018. Isa alleged that even efforts made by Permanent Missions of US, Germany and Europe Union to get him accreditation for the UNPFII event in 2018 did not yield results.
The exiled Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa in his soon-to-be-released biography (The China Freedom Trap) has made stunning revelations on how China gamed the UN system to play a spoilsport undermining the voice of indigenous communities like Uyghurs. Isa, in his book made exclusively available to ET, recalled how China manipulated the system to deny him entry at a meeting of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held in New York in 2018.
Isa alleged that even efforts made by Permanent Missions of US, Germany and Europe Union to get him accreditation for the UNPFII event in 2018 did not yield results. “Since 2014, China has spent a lot of money on trying to improve its international image…Until 2014, there were no “neutral” Chinese representatives that spoke out against Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Falun Gong practitioners. Objection always came from the official Chinese representatives at the UN.
Beginning in 2014, many of the so-called human rights organizations created by the Chinese regime started appearing in the UN.
They began claiming that the peoples of East Turkistan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia lived happy and peaceful lives, that these regions were experiencing unprecedented developments, and that the Communist party was taking care of them, not persecuting them,” Isa claimed in his book. “China always tried to prevent me and the World Uyghur Congress representatives from attending UN meetings. They even tried to pressurise the UN Secretary General, in violation of UN principles,” Isa alleged.
The exiled leader recalled one incident in the book on how he was denied attendance at a meet at the UN in New York in 2018. “I flew to New York on April 15. I landed at 11 pm and got to my hotel at 2 am. Omer Kanat arrived from Washington, D.C. at 6 am the next morning, and we went to the Secretariat to get our badges together. Omer Kanat received his, but the UN staff told me that they couldn’t issue a badge for me. They couldn’t tell me why.
Then, a UN security officer arrived. “We kicked you out last year. Why did you come again?” he asked, displeased.” According to Isa he was in touch with Taryn Lesser in the office of the UN Assistant Secretary-General Andrew Gilmour and Human Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson over his attendance at the UN. “Ms. Richardson contacted the US State Department and the U.S. Mission to the UN and asked for their help. We also met German representatives at the UN. They also said they would be meeting relevant officials about my situation,” Isa writes. He went on to narrate how he even met then Ambassador Kelley Currie, the U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN, but even the US mission could not address the issue.
“I knew that the German, U.S. and European Union Missions were all working on it. The incident was becoming a significant and delicate subject between these missions, the UN, and China. I learned that it had also reached the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who was tasked with a difficult decision about how the UN would proceed. A week, Monday to Friday, passed in New York waiting for an answer from the UN. A diplomatic war was raging between the U.S., Germany, the EU and China, and there was still no result. It was more complicated than I had originally thought.”
Isa further alleged in his book that Chinese atrocities against the Uyghurs have intensified since 2016 and particularly 2017, was a difficult year forUyghurs when they faced genocide recalling how his mother was killed in the concentration camp.
The book has been published by leading Indian publisher Har-Anand Publications.