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Open letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: OHCHR report on grave human rights violations

8 March 2022

Madam High Commissioner,

We, the undersigned human rights organisations, write to follow up on your commitment last year to release a report on grave ongoing human rights violations by Chinese authorities targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic communities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (the Uyghur region). The release of the report without further delay is essential – to send a message to victims and perpetrators alike that no state, no matter how powerful, is above international law or the robust independent scrutiny of your Office.

As you are aware, many of our organisations have documented how Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in the Uyghur region face systematic state-organized mass detention, torture, persecution, and other violations of a scale and nature amounting to crimes against humanity. We have repeatedly raised alarm – including to your Office – over the extreme measures taken by Chinese authorities since 2017 to root out the religious traditions, cultural practices, and local languages of the region’s Muslim ethnic groups. Carried out under the guise of fighting “terrorism”, these crimes have targeted ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Hui, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks and Tajiks.

In 2020, an unprecedented number of special procedures issued a landmark statement expressing concerns over human rights violations in China, including in the Uyghur region, and called for the UN to take decisive action. Treaty Bodies have also raised concerns over the situation in that region over the last five years.

In contrast to these efforts, we have been concerned by the relative silence of your Office in the face of these grave violations, aside from procedural updates on the status of negotiations to gain meaningful access to Xinjiang. In that context, we welcomed your confirmation in September last year that your Office was “finalising its assessment of the available information on allegations of serious human rights violations in [Xinjiang] with a view to making it public.” Six months later, after having been assured by your spokesperson in December the report would be released in a matter of weeks, the world is still awaiting that report.

Victims and survivors should not have to wait any longer. They and their families deserve justice and accountability, and need to know that your Office stands with them.

We urge you to fulfil your mandate, release the report without further delay, and brief members and observers of the UN Human Rights Council on its contents as a matter of urgency.

Accountability can wait no longer.


  1. 21Wilberforce

  2. ACAT-France

  3. Access Accountability

  4. Alberta Uyghur Association

  5. Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme

  6. Alliance for Vietnam’s Democracy

  7. ALTSEAN-Burma

  8. American Alliance for Automotive Corporate Social Responsibility

  9. American Muslim Bar Association

  10. Amnesty International

  11. Arakan Rohingya National Organisation

  12. ARTICLE 19

  13. Asia Democracy Network

  14. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

  15. Australian East Turkestan Association

  16. Australian Uyghur Association

  17. Australian Uyghur Tangritagh Women’s Association

  18. Austria Uyghur Association

  19. Bauhinias For Freedom

  20. Bay Area Friends of Tibet

  21. Be Slavery Free

  22. Belgium Uyghur Association

  23. Blue Crescent Humanitarian Aid Association

  24. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

  25. Campaign for Uyghurs

  26. Canadian Coalition Against Communisms

  27. Carleton University

  28. China Against the Death Penalty

  29. China Aid

  30. China Change

  31. Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness 華人基督徒公義團契

  32. Chinese Human Rights Defenders

  33. Chulalongkorn University’s Student Union

  34. Church of Scientology National Affairs Office


  36. Coalition Burkinabè des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CBDDH)

  37. Coalition des défenseurs des droits humains du Benin

  38. Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet - CAT

  39. Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention

  40. CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

  41. DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)

  42. Dialogue China

  43. Dutch Uyghur Human Rights Foundation

  44. East Turkestan Press and Media Association

  45. East Turkestan Union of Muslim Scholars

  46. East Turkistan Association in Finland

  47. East Turkistan Association of Canada

  48. East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association

  49. East Turkistan Entrepreneur Tradesmen and Industrialists Businessmen Association

  50. East Turkistan Human Rights Watch

  51. East Turkistan New Generation Movement

  52. East Turkistan Nuzugum Culture and Family Association

  53. East Turkistan Sports and Development Association

  54. East Turkistan Union in Europe

  55. Eastern Turkistan Foundation

  56. Engage Action

  57. European East Turkistan Education Association

  58. EXCUBITUSdhe

  59. Family Research Council

  60. Fédération Euro-méditerranéenne contre les disparitions Forcées

  61. Federation for a Democratic China

  62. Finnish Uyghur Culture Center

  63. Frankfurt stands with Hongkong

  64. Fundacion Aguaclara

  65. GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation

  66. Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities

  67. Green Advocates International (Liberia)

  68. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

  69. Hebrew Congregation of Somers

  70. Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

  71. Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung

  72. Hong Kong Committee in Norway

  73. Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC)

  74. Hong Kong Global Connect

  75. Human Asia

  76. Human Rights in China (HRIC)

  77. Human Rights Watch

  78. Human Trafficking Search

  79. Humanitarian China

  80. Ilham Tohti Initiative

  81. Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council

  82. International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute

  83. International Campaign For Tibet

  84. International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC)

  85. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

  86. International Pen Uyghur Center

  87. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

  88. International Society for Human Rights, Chapter Munich

  89. International Support for Uyghurs

  90. International Tibet Network

  91. International Union of East Turkistan Organizations

  92. International Uyghur Human Right and Democracy Foundation

  93. IRPOO Siberia without torture

  94. Isa Yusup Alptekin Foundation

  95. Islamic Community Milli Gorus

  96. Islamic Information & Services Foundation Malaysia

  97. Japan Uyghur Association

  98. Jewish Movement for Uyghur Freedom

  99. Jewish World Watch

  100. Judicial Reform Foundation

  101. Justice For All

  102. Justice for Uyghurs - Switzerland

  103. Lady Lawyer Foundation

  104. Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

  105. Le Comité pour la Liberté à Hong-Kong

  106. Liberty and Democracy Advocacy Club University of Calgary

  107. Malaysia4Uyghur

  108. Mamatjan Nayup

  109. Minaret Foundation

  110. Minh Van Foundation

  111. Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

  112. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

  113. Mulmangcho

  114. National Committee of Democratic Party of China

  115. Netherlands for Hong Kong

  116. No Business With Genocide

  117. Northern California Hong Kong Club

  118. Norwegian Uyghur Committee

  119. Omer Uygur Foundation

  120. Peace Catalyst International

  121. People for Successful Corean Reunification (PSCORE)

  122. People's Watch

  123. Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights)

  124. Planet Ally


  126. René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights

  127. Safeguard Defenders

  128. Satuq Bugrakhan Foundation of Science and Civilization

  129. SAVE TIBET Austria

  130. Silk Road Peace Project

  131. Society for Threatened Peoples

  132. Society Union of Uyghur National Association

  133. Solidarité Chine, Paris

  134. Solidarity Sisters Network of Liberia (SoSNoL)

  135. Stepping Stones

  136. Stop Uyghur Genocide Australia

  137. Stop Uyghur Genocide Canada

  138. Sweden Uyghur Education Union

  139. Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association

  140. Switzerland East Turkestan Association

  141. The Community Human Rights Promotion and Protection Association - ACPDH

  142. The International Women's Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education

  143. The Lesbian and Gay Association of Liberia (LEGAL)

  144. The Rights Practice

  145. Tibet Action Institute

  146. Tibet Justice Center

  147. Tibet Solidarity

  148. Tibet Support Group Ireland

  149. Tibetan Youth Association in Europe

  150. Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG)

  151. Uigur Society of the Kyrgyz Republic

  152. Umer Uyghur Trust

  153. Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam

  154. United Council of Vietnamese Homeland and Overseas

  155. United Macedonian Diaspora

  156. Uyghur Academy

  157. Uyghur Academy Australia

  158. Uyghur Academy Canada

  159. Uyghur Academy Europe

  160. Uyghur Academy Foundation

  161. Uyghur Academy Japan

  162. Uyghur Academy USA

  163. Uyghur American Association

  164. Uyghur Association of Victoria, Australia

  165. Uyghur Center for Human Rights and Democracy

  166. Uyghur Cultural and Education Union in Germany

  167. Uyghur Education Union

  168. Uyghur Human Rights Project

  169. Uyghur Mosque

  170. Uyghur Projects Foundation

  171. Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund

  172. Uyghur Research Institute

  173. Uyghur Right’s Advocacy Project

  174. Uyghur Science and Civilization Research Foundation

  175. Uyghur Support Group Netherlands

  176. Uyghur Transitional Justice Database

  177. Uyghur U.K. Association

  178. Uyghur Youth Union in Kazakhstan

  179. Uzbekistan Uyghur Culture Center

  180. Victoria Uyghur Association

  181. Viet Democratic Side's International Forum

  182. Vietnam Helsinki Human Rights Committee

  183. Vietnam Human Rights Day - May 11 Organization

  184. Vietnam Human Rights Network

  185. Vietnamese Nationalist Party

  186. Visual Artists Guild

  187. Witness Radio - Uganda

  188. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

  189. World Uyghur Congress

  190. World Uyghur Congress Foundation

  191. World Without Genocide

  192. Young leadership for social change network


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