Brussels. Recently, new evidence of crimes against humanity against Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China has come to light through the research of China expert Dr. Adrian Zenz. In particular, this concerns forced abortions, sterilisations and compulsory birth control on Uighur women. Already since last year, data suggest that up to two million Uyghurs are being held in detention camps by the Communist Party under the auspices of "re-education".
Engin Eroglu, MEP of the "FREIE WÄHLER", member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, expresses his concern about the recent discovery: "These atrocities against the Muslim minorities in Xinjiang represent a further step in the Chinese government's strategy of targeted repression of this ethnic group. Political and religious mass indoctrination, arbitrary arrests and forced labour are just a few examples of the Chinese government's serious human rights violations against the Uyghurs. The research now published by Dr. Zenz shows how the Chinese leadership is systematically aiming to sterilize women of childbearing age with three or more children, thereby strategically aligning the birth rates of the Uighurs with those of the Han population. It is time for the EU and also the German Federal Government to seriously address this, because these crimes have been tolerated for far too long. Together with my colleagues Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens, DE), Miriam Lexmann (EPP, SVK), Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D, FR) and Anna Fotyga (ECR, PL), I have therefore launched an initiative in the European Parliament to draw attention to the issue at European level and to take a stand on it".
This initiative is not the first project that Eroglu has launched on this issue. Since he took office, he has been closely involved with the fate of the Uyghurs. Eroglu explains: "The fate of the Uyghur minority is very close to my heart. At the end of March, I therefore launched an initiative addressing both Commissioner Didier Reynders and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. At the same time, I addressed the 83 companies mentioned in the report of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in connection with Uighur forced labour and asked for their comments. Since then, I have been in contact with various representatives from business and politics as well as members of the Uyghur diaspora".
In his new letter to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, which was supported by Members from all political groups in the European Parliament, Eroglu finds clear words: "Terminology is very important in this case in order to initiate appropriate international action against those responsible. We must recognise that what is happening in Xinjiang goes beyond 'ordinary' human rights violations. The references to state-induced and targeted birth control to reduce the Muslim population throughout the region meet the criteria for genocide as set out in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide".
As a consequence, Eroglu calls for swift and decisive political action, both from the German government and the EU: "We must now show the Chinese government that it has crossed a red line. Since Germany holds the presidency of the UN Security Council until the end of the year, the German government should use this position to exert pressure on the Chinese government. The Chinese leadership still refuses to conduct an independent investigation into these human rights violations. Such an independent international UN fact-finding mission must nevertheless be the goal. At the same time, sanctions directed against those responsible at government level must be considered as the next step at EU level".