UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) Agenda Item 4: U.S. Response to Chinese Remarks on Dolkun Isa

Courtney Nemroff
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
May 1, 2019


I would like to emphasize that the Chinese delegate’s accusations against Dolkun Isa are unfounded and inappropriate. Dolkun Isa is a widely respected human rights defender who has dedicated his entire adult life to promoting the fundamental freedoms of members of the Uighur community. He also supports de-radicalization programs and routinely calls for the end of violence and terrorism.

Despite China’s efforts to silence his voice, Dolkun Isa has persisted in this important work, and we appreciate the opportunity to listen to his views and insights this morning. The fact that he is critical of China’s policy does not make him a terrorist. The UN Charter, to which we are all signatories, enshrines the right of peaceful expression. Attempts to deny that fundamental freedom contravene the UN Charter.

If Dolkun Isa were a terrorist, he would not have been given access to the United Nations, nor would he be granted a U.S. visa or German citizenship.