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Opinion: Gulf States Have Sacrificed Uighur Muslims for Cash From China

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The human rights of “people of all ethnic groups” living in China’s westernmost region have been “effectively safeguarded.” This was the bold assertion in a July 2020 Joint Statement backed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates , Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, among others.

Yet, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the whereabouts of half a million individuals who live in Xinjiang and predominantly belong to the Uighur Muslim minority remain unknown, to date.

“Gulf countries, just like Iran, actively participate in supporting China’s policies,” Paris-based president of the European Uighur Institute Dilnur Reyhan told me. Foreign affairs representatives of the four Gulf states signatories of the Joint Statement did not respond to requests for comment.

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