New secret documents on crimes in Xinjiang

Europe must act, Vatican is on a dangerous path (Press Release)

Protestants demand help from western governments. Picture: Malcolm Brown via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Following the discovery of new secret documents on the systematic persecution of the Muslim minorities in China, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) calls on European politicians to finally follow up their verbal criticism by taking action. "Germany and the European Union must not accept that crimes against the humanity of their strategic partner China are not addressed at summit meetings – or only briefly mentioned as side notes," stated Ulrich Delius, the STP's director, in Göttingen on Tuesday. "Those who are responsible for the crimes should no longer be allowed to enter the European Union – and German companies must review their activities in Xinjiang." At the EU-China Summit in Leipzig in September 2020, under the German EU Council Presidency, Europe must finally show its colors and stand by its values. 

The documents that have now become public testify to the cynical meticulousness with which the Chinese authorities record and interpret every little notion of religiosity of Uyghur or Kazakh Muslims – such as their beards, headscarves, visits to mosques, and fasting during Ramadan. The more religious an individual was assumed to be, according to these criteria, the longer they had to remain in the camps against their will. "This is not only a violation of international human rights conventions, but also of China's constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion," Delius said.

The systematic violation of freedom of religion in Xinjiang should also give the Vatican food for thought in its approach to China's government. Today, the victims of the crimes are Muslim believers, but the situation could soon turn against the members of the Christian minority, the STP warned. China's government distrusts every religion that it is unable to control. Any deal with China's leadership could fuel repressive measures against dissenters and religious people. Only last Friday, the foreign policy leaders of China and the Vatican had met at the Munich Security Conference for a much-noticed meeting.

Header image: Malcolm Brown via Flickr