Press Release


115 Czech and Slovak Scholars and Public Figures Appeal for the Closure of Political Reeducation Camps in Xinjiang and for the Observance of Universal Human Rights in the People’s Republic of China


On the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Czech and Slovak sinologists published an Appeal for the Closure of Political Reeducation Camps for Uyghurs and Other Minorities and for the Observance of Internationally Acknowledged Human Rights in the People’s Republic of China.

In total, the appeal was signed by more than 115 representatives of Czech and Slovak academia, public life, non-governmental organizations, think-tanks, and civil society.

The signatories expressed their concern with the growing violations of human rights in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and with the systematic efforts of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to redefine the concept of human rights in order to normalize and universalize acceptance of the current state of human rights in the PRC as a full-fledged alternative to universal human rights.

They are also concerned about the repression of Uyghurs, Tibetans and other ethnic and religious minorities, civil society, the academic and artistic communities, the media, and other social groups in the PRC. The signatories are particularly alarmed by the repression of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and condemn the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people in political reeducation camps.

The signatories are also concerned that the PRC is using ever more assertive methods to forward its claims in disputed border areas and towards Taiwan, supporting other non-democratic regimes, and striving to weaken the political systems and societies of democratic countries. They believe that these efforts compromise liberal values in international relations and pose a security threat to the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

The signatories call on the PRC authorities to immediately release all persons detained in the political reeducation camps, to end the repressive policy in Xinjiang, Tibet and other minority regions, and to uphold political, religious and cultural rights.

They also call on Czech and Slovak state authorities to join international efforts to advocate the observance of universal human rights in the PRC, to terminate cooperation with state and non-state actors within and outside the PRC which are involved in the repression of Uyghurs and other PRC citizens, to simplify the process of granting political asylum to applicants from the PRC, and to strengthen support for human rights, democracy, civil society, and media literacy in domestic and international contexts.

Prague and Bratislava, December 10, 2018




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