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Rubio Calls On UN to Reject CCP Pressure and Release Xinjiang Human Rights Report
In 2018, the United Nations’ (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights promised to release a report on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Four years later, the report has yet to be published, despite High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s trip to the XUAR this past May.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is demanding Bachelet release the report immediately, ahead of her departure as High Commissioner on August 31, 2022.
- “As you approach your departure as High Commissioner on August 31, the report remains buried while CCP diplomats reportedly conduct a flurry of confidential lobbying to halt its release. Do not let the CCP further taint your tenure as Commissioner by withholding the report a minute longer.”
- “I plan to review all options as a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to utilize oversight and funding authorities over U.S. contributions to the United Nations in order to compel your office to release the report.”
In May, prior to Bachelet’s travel to the XUAR, Rubio led bipartisan colleagues in a letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres urging him to work with Bachelet to secure the report’s release. Guterres has yet to respond to the senators’ letter.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Commissioner Bachelet:
I write to respectfully request that you immediately release your office’s report regarding the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). As the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, you have the authority and responsibility for all activities to protect human rights in the countries represented at the UN. You have a moral obligation, and a duty, to the victims of the CCP’s genocide to publish a report that accurately describes the ongoing atrocities and genocide that are occurring against the Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The CCP is a global threat to human rights, international norms, and basic human values that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is mandated to protect. The CCP’s human rights violations must continue to be documented, investigated, and transparently reported to the international community to ensure justice and accountability is achieved. Further delays, and a watered-down report, will be a death blow to the already limited credibility of the UN on human rights issues.
In May 2022, I led my colleagues in sending the enclosed letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres. That letter requested the release of the long-delayed report. To date, an answer has yet to be received. As you are aware, in 2018, your office promised to release a report on the ongoing human rights violations targeting Uyghurs and other groups in the XUAR. Your office further signaled a report would be released in late 2021. In March 2022, approximately 200 human rights organizations requested the report be released immediately. In late May 2022, you visited the PRC and released a statement where you expressed gratitude to high ranking CCP officials, CCP court appointed judges, and CCP chaperones who guided, monitored, and provided visits to pre-designated XUAR locations. Not only have you unnecessarily delayed this important report, but your statements call into question your ability to present the objective truth of the CCP’s crimes in the XUAR.
We are now eight months into 2022 and are no closer to the report being released. As you approach your departure as High Commissioner on August 31, the report remains buried while CCP diplomats reportedly conduct a flurry of confidential lobbying to halt its release. Do not let the CCP further taint your tenure as Commissioner by withholding the report a minute longer. I plan to review all options as a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to utilize oversight and funding authorities over U.S. contributions to the United Nations in order to compel your office to release the report.
The time has long past to bring the CCP genocide to light and hold it accountable for well-documented human rights abuses against the Uyghurs and other groups in the XUAR. Multiple U.S. administrations have recognized Beijing’s oppression of PRC citizens and its denial of Uyghurs’ right to peacefully practice their religion through the use of forced labor, sexual labor, forced abortion, and forced sterilization of women. These acts constitute genocide and crimes against humanity.
I expect you to release the report immediately. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.