China accuses the NGO’s president Dolkun Isa of terrorism and separatism. The latter has been in exile since 1997. For US Ambassador, the UN should not indulge China’s Islamophobia; there is no evidence in Beijing's accusations.
New York (AsiaNews/RFA) – The United States has rejected China's request to withdraw special consultative status from the World Uygur Congress (WUC), a Germany-based NGO that promotes the rights of the ethnic minority that is persecuted in China.
WUC president, Dolkun Isa, an ethnic Uyghur naturalised German citizen, has been accused by Beijing of "participating, inciting and funding separatism and terrorism for years,”.
Dolkun is an exiled Muslim Uyghur leader from Xinjiang, on the border with Central Asian countries. After participating in some peaceful student protests in the late 1980s, he fled China in 1997.
In 1999 Interpol issued an international wanted person alert against him upon Beijing’s request, which was deleted only last February.
As a result of the alert, Isa faced harassment – including detention and arrest – in South Korea, India, the United States, Turkey and Italy.
In a letter dated 17 May, the Chinese permanent mission to the UN called on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to lift the WUC’s consultative status from the Germany-based Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), after the group named World Uyghur Congress (WUC) President Dolkun Isa as its representative.
In response to the request, Ambassador Kelley Currie, the US representative at ECOSOC, said she was saddened to see the committee “indulging in the Chinese delegation's Islamophobia”. Currie noted that China has never provided “any actionable intelligence that would indicate that what they are saying is true.”
“This is not about the Society for Threatened Peoples and their contributions to the United Nations, this is about the temerity that [STP] have to allow an individual who is silenced in China—and a whole community, frankly, that is silenced in China—to speak out on behalf of the rights of that community,” the ambassador said, urging China to withdraw its request.
Committee chair Jorge Dotta ruled that the United Nations would discuss China’s concerns with STP and decide whether to withdraw the NGO’s consultative status by 25 May.
Since 2017 China has pursued a "scorched earth" policy in Xinjiang to prevent possible the infiltration of radical Afghan or Pakistani influence, imposing tight controls on mosques, young people, and the religious life of entire communities.
Since April of the same year, Uyghurs accused of holding strong religious and politically incorrect opinions are put in prison or sent to rehabilitation camps or psychiatric clinics, where they go crazy.
Maya Wang of the New York-based Human Rights Watch told The Guardian in January that as many as 800,000 Uyghurs have been in camps in Xinjiang whilst at least one Uyghur exile group estimates that number to be one million.