KAMPALA – A group of human rights activists in Africa have called on African Union to conduct an independent Investigation into xenophobic attacks inflicted on Africans in China.
Through their continental body, African Defenders, with Chapter Four representing Uganda, the team addressed their letter to Moussa Faki, The Chairperson, African Union Commission.
The team welcomed such condemnation statements from the African governments, but argued that there is a need to transform these statements into practical action that puts an end to the horrendous dehumanisation of Africans in China.
The team noted, “We now urge your good offices and African leaders to demand a full and independent investigation into the violations and immediate remedial action is taken. At the very least, we believe that the spirit of solidarity and partnership demands that China apologises and makes good the grave offence to the African Peoples’. We believe that China understands that we, as African people, deserve respect and equal treatment.”
The Human Rights activists accused Chinese authorities of allegedly forcefully testing, quarantining and inhumanely treating African people in Guangdong Province, with the discrimination and stigmatisation of Africans involving forcing Africans to undergo epidemic investigation and Nucleic Acid Test forcefully.
Africans are also subjected to fourteen (14) days quarantine even if they have not travelled outside their jurisdictions or come into contact with infected persons, or had close contact or showing any symptoms of the COVID-19, describing such treatment as violation of international human rights laws and principles.
“It is inhuman and against all principles of dignity and shared humanity that should ideally guide China-Africa relations. Singling out only Africans is a xenophobic and racist act. Africa’s strong cooperation economic ties with China, should not thrive at the cost of human rights and human dignity,” read in part the statement.
The activists added that the despicable events and other recurrent complaints regarding illicit activities by Chinese businesses in Africa, call for the framework of cooperation to establish clear standards of mutual accountability and must be formulated with active participation of African citizens.
“We believe that without strong mutual accountability frameworks, the message of solidarity preached by China towards Africans, will ring hollow. The participation of African people in defining the framework of partnership will ensure that going forward China-Africa partnership has a human face and is reflected in Chinese business conduct in Africa,” the statement read in part.
The team argued that if the framework is put in place, it will address the imbalance in trade; ballooning debt; restrain dumping of inferior quality goods by strengthening standards monitoring and control illicit financial outflows and corrupt practices by Chinese businesses operating in Africa.