Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in China
Fear of “Big Brother” China (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) accuses the states that are taking part in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in China of excluding and deliberately ignoring human rights issues. “Acute human rights problems in the relationship between individual member states are being hushed up. For example, Kazakhstan is reluctant to address the persecution of the Kazakh minority in China. The Central Asian states will not mention the human rights violations against the Uyghurs in the People’s Republic of China, and the mass deportations of Afghans from Pakistan are taboo as well. Anyone who decides to remain silent about human rights issues instead of trying to solve them will stir up further conflicts instead of creating more security,” emphasized Ulrich Delius, the STP’s director, in Göttingen on Saturday.
China invited the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (which was established in 2001) to Qingdao for a two-day summit (June 9 and 10), and prominent guests will be attending the conference – such as the Presidents of Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, and the Prime Minister of India.
Although many Uyghurs living in the Central Asian countries and are worried about the growing persecution of the Muslim minority in China, the governments of the respective states are not prepared to openly criticize their far more powerful neighboring country. Especially in Kazakhstan, there is widespread resentment over the escalating persecution of the Kazakh minority in China’s Xinjiang region. Like the Uyghurs, the Kazakh people are often illegally detained and brainwashed in reeducation centers. In China, they are often seen as radical Islamists or terrorists – merely because of their ethnic origin.
On May 28, 2018 – following massive pressure from the Kazakh people – Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry had decided to issue a statement, cautiously and diplomatically pointing out the difficulties faced by Kazakhs in China. However, these issues were not discussed during the meeting between President Nursultan Nazarbayev and China’s President Xi Jinping in the run-up to the summit on June 8. Instead, there was a clear emphasis on harmony and the interest in developing cooperative relationships.