Statement condemning the OHCHR’s ‘Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China’

The following statement has been initiated by Friends of Socialist China. You can add your name as an individual signatory using Google Forms. Once you do so, your name will appear on this page within a few hours. Organizations wishing to add their signatures to this statement should contact us at info@socialistchina.org

We strongly condemn the publication by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of its Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China. In the words of former OHCHR lawyer and human rights expert Alfred de Zayas, this document “should be discarded as propagandistic, biased, and methodologically flawed.”

Based on substandard research methods and biased sources, the Assessment is completely lacking in credibility. It treats arms of the military-industrial complex such as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), along with professional anti-communists such as Adrian Zenz, as legitimate sources. Meanwhile the voices of Chinese NGOs, academics and individuals are suppressed, as are the numerous reports of diplomatic trips to Xinjiang – including by representatives of Muslim-majority countries – that have taken place in recent years.

The Assessment pointedly ignores China’s extraordinary progress in promoting the human rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang: in relation to poverty alleviation, social welfare, economic development, safety from terrorist attacks, and more. Instead, the document uses deliberately ambiguous language – that China’s actions “may” constitute crimes against humanity – in order to slander the People’s Republic of China whilst maintaining some plausible deniability.

It is highly suspicious that the Assessment makes no mention of then-UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s visit to Xinjiang in May 2022. Having visited a prison and spoken to former trainees at a vocational education and training center; having interacted with civil society organizations, academics, and community and religious leaders; Bachelet found no evidence of crimes against humanity. The numerous conversations she had do not form part of the data set for the Assessment.

What is the reason for the disparity between the OHCHR report and Bachelet’s end-of-mission statement? It is painfully obvious that the OHCHR has come under intense pressure from the US to bolster the credibility of the lurid slanders that have been thrown at China by Western politicians and journalists. Such propaganda forms part of the West’s imperial agenda of undermining China.

The OHCHR Assessment does a profound disservice to the cause of strengthening global human rights cooperation. The report does not enjoy a mandate from the General Assembly or the Human Rights Council, and it runs counter to the wishes and interests of the mainstream of the international community. A joint statement delivered by Cuba at the 50th session of the Human Rights Council in June this year stated its firm opposition to the “politicization of human rights and double standards, or interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights”. This statement was signed by 69 countries, the overwhelming majority from the Global South.

Given the OHCHR’s relative silence in relation to persistent human rights abuses by the imperialist powers, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the Assessment is politically-motived, produced under pressure from the US, and designed to contribute to a dangerous, escalating New Cold War.

We call on the OHCHR to withdraw its Assessment, and we stand in solidarity with the people of China, subjected to abhorrent and baseless accusations.

Initial signatories (organizations)

Initial signatories (individuals)

  • Kojo Amoo Gottfried (former Ambassador of Ghana to the People’s Republic of China)
  • Roland Boer (Professor, Dalian University of Technology)
  • Ben Chacko (Editor, Morning Star)
  • Michael Dunford (Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex)
  • John Foster (Emeritus Professor, University of the West of Scotland)
  • Robert Griffiths (General Secretary, Communist Party of Britain)
  • Kenneth Hammond (Professor, New Mexico State University)
  • Dee Knight (DSA International Committee member)
  • Doug Nicholls (General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions)
  • Dirk Nimmegeers (Editor, ChinaSquare.be)
  • Ben Norton (Editor, Multipolarista)
  • Suzanne Berliner Weiss (author and activist for social justice)

Individual signatories

NameRole/organizationCountry
Niels Duus NielsenDenmark
Michael WongsamBritain
Simon HeimStudentHong Kong SAR, China
David AltimierProfessor, Political AnalystMexico
João RoqueBrazil
C Larsson
TAN KIN LIANSingapore
Peter OlechBritain
Stefania FuseroItaly
高玮鸿China
Ng Kong HungSingapore
Christopher HelaliInternational Secretary of the CC of PCUSAUnited States
JOSEPH PIETTEWorkers World PartyUnited States
Keith HeywoodBritain
Mark LeCanada
Joe LeeAustralia
Philippe GendraultPRCFUnited States
Daniel J. BrownAustralia
Lyn NeeleyTeacher AFTUnited States
Régis Apolinário CoelhoStudent/IFESBrazil
Jakob Ulrik MunckDenmark
Steve SweeneyJournalistBritain
Dan RossBritain
Gregory DunkelRetired, AFT2343United States
Nan ZhangCanada
Ng Sauw TjhoiChief-editor “China Vandaag”Belgium
Marie-France GermainCanada
DakotaIndigenous man of CanadaCanada
Edward Owen RedmondBritain
Tony KinderUniversity ResearcherBritain
Kim E Koo MDUnited States
Edward Owen RedmondBritain
De Maegd FransARLAC (Solidarity with Latin America and the Caraibes).Belgium
floyd gardnerveterans for peaceUnited States
Sue HarisInternational Action CenterUnited States
juan donostMexico
Matthew LouieUnited States
Man Leewenyahonline.comAustralia
Robin StoweUnited States
Ann LoganRetired book editorBritain
CRISTOBAL CANO MOREYSpain
Joseph ThompsonStudentUnited States
William MurphyRetiredUnited States
Jason BowersUnited States
Michael ChiaSingapore
MarcelBrazil
Alex TanMalaysia
Roger StollUnited States
Pat TurnbullBritain
Stewart Kellyconcerned citizenUnited States
Larry M LeeCanada
LekxMember-activist of grassroots movement Peace With Venezuela The Netherlands (Vrede Met Venezuela)Netherlands
Mitchell ShoreCanada
Dave ThomasChair Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association of NiagaraCanada
MaureUnited States
Doug NichollsGeneral Federation of Trade UnionsBritain
Zhen ChiChina
Peta ElmesUnited States
Peta ElmesUnited States
Victor KoppeLawyer (genocide specialist)Netherlands
Jonn MeroNorway
Clinton ScottBritain
Vicente CastellsBritain
James De BurgheChina
Mark Charles RosenzweigUnited States
Songyon JingChina
Stan SquiresCanada
Alexander ReysenbachPensionerBelgium
Bob OramBritain
Daniel B
Pete FoleyBritain
William DereJournalist and authorCanada
Wilhelm Reichmann
Chin K SeahCanada
Asfred MaldonadoPuerto Rico
Brandon MilesIndependent JournalistUnited States
Joe HerosyUnited States
Danny LiUnited States
Wilfred JayasingheSri Lanka Peace & Solidarity CouncilSri Lanka
Peggy Powell DobbinsUnited States
Elizabeth SmithCanada
AmritCanada
Matthew AlmonteUnited States
Edward TrippRetiredUnited States
Xiaoming GuoCanada
Stephen PaulmierHawai’i Friends of the Soviet PeopleOccupied country of Hawai’i
Iris YauLecturer & CuratorBritain
Laurence Wright
RAFAEL QUEIROZ ALVESResearcherBrazil
Sandy Eaton, RNUnited States
Kate LattimoreBritain
Ben LunnComposerBritain
Hank KeetonKeeton CorporationUnited States
BobAkamineUnited States
Mark PrenterAustralia
Giles GeetooahUnited States
phoebeBritain
Demba Moussa DembeleEconomistSenegal
Wei Weng LEONGSingapore
David AyrtonBritain
Ron JuddNew Zealand
Youri Smouterjournalist & host of 1+1 at 1+1 hosted by Youri Smouter fmrley Yuri Muckraker at youtubeBelgium
Calla Mairead WalshUnited States, Canada
Ping HuaNo Cold War BritainBritain
Peter RubinUnited States
Brishni ChattopadhyayIndia
Damien MarsicChina
Bill MeyerMichigan Peace CouncilUSA
Tom WickhamIreland
Fabio Massimo ParentiAssociate Professor of International Political EconomyItaly
Michael AwAustralia
Bertil CarlmanRetired teacherSweden
Yick Foon WONGRetireeAustralia
Arsenio PanuelosPhilippines
David LeeAustralia
Robert Fitzthum
Derek BlackmoreBritain
James K InkenbrandtUnited States
Matthew CampbellUnited States
Joris De WinterBelgium
Anna EckertUnited States
B. Keith BrumleyUnited States
David MüllerSwitzerland
Joe MonteroAustralia
Kevin LindemannUnited States
Karen AramUnited States
Kostas KalogeropoulosResearcherGreece
Dr. Tamara ProsicResearcher, Monash UniversityAustralia
Jui Ching LingNetherlands
Kevin Patrick Michael McCannCommunist Party of BritainBritain
Antonis BalasopoulosCyprus
Håkan DanielssonSweden
Laura WellsGreen PartyUnited States
Ethan EvaloboUnited States
Derek GrigsbyOrganizer / MECAWI ( Michigan emergency committee against war and injustice )United States
Iain InglisChina
Leo CollinsIreland
Michael ShaneUnited States
ko ruijterNetherlands
Loo Wen SiangMalaysia
Siqlme CqkftSingapore
Ruipeng LiChina
Andre S
Jake HemingwayUnited States
Joseph OstosUnited States
M. K. BrusselUnited States
Mike ShaneCommunist Workers League (Fighting-words.net)United States
Karen LiRetired teacherUnited States
Robert LaffinUnited States
Ray GastonTeam Vicar Parish of Central WolverhamptonBritain
Leonardo BargigliUniversità di FirenzeItaly
John SharkeyCanada
M. K. BrusselUnited States
Mushahed AhmedMember of the central committee, Communist Party of Bangladesh (M-L)Bangladesh
Dilip BaruaGeneral Secretary, Communist Party of Bangladesh (M-L)Bangladesh
Miguel FigueroaCanadian Peace CongressCanada
Elisabeth HillsUnited States
Ruipeng Li
Eddy SebahiFrance
Noah BermanBritain
Nino PaglicciaFrente Hugo Chavez - CanadaCanada
eloi ramirezUnited States
kwok zu limSingapore
Bobby ChenChinaRock.FMUnited States

6 thoughts on “Statement condemning the OHCHR’s ‘Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China’”

  1. I am from Vancouver,Canada and i wanted to say that the OHCHR has just proved that it can’t provide an accurate assessment of the Human Rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Antonomous Region,People’s Republic of China. For that reason this Human Rights Report should be withdrawn and condemned.It is the US Gov’t that is to be blamed for this atrocity.

    1. I fully agree with this condemnation. Please add my name to the list of individual signatories. I am a journalist, writer and Human Rights activist in Montreal, Canada.

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