PRESS RELEASE: WUC Commemorates Tiananmen Square Democracy Protestors on 29th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre

World Uyghur Congress, 4 June 2018

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, where thousands of Chinese protestors were brutally suppressed for holding demonstrations calling for democracy and for their basic human rights to be respected. Students, teachers, activists and civilians were among those killed with estimates ranging from hundreds to ten thousand merely for exercising their right to freedom of assembly and calling for democracy.

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Issue 20: Uyghurs Imprisoned for Praying In Their Homes

World Uyghur Congress, 4 June 2018

In 2015, the Chinese government criminalised prayer among groups in East Turkistan and also took similar actions in terms of prayer at one’s own home. In May 2015, a group of eight Uyghur farmers and one imam were sentenced to between seven and nine years in 2016 for “illegal religious practice” for “praying together in places that authorities had not designated for Muslim worship.”

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Remembering Tiananmen; The Uighur Crackdown

WSJ, 4 June 2018

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China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other

The Economist, 31 May 2018

“THE prophet Sulayman approached his son and said to him, ‘I have received a message from God. I want you to circle the Earth and see if there are more people who are alive in spirit or more people who are dead in spirit.’ After a period the son returned and said, ‘Father I went to many places and everywhere I went I saw more people who were dead than those who were alive.’”

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Issue 19: Removal of Islamic Iconography

World Uyghur Congress, 3 June 2018

As the Chinese government attempts to ‘Sinicize’ all religions in China, especially Islam, any cultural or religious iconography seen as incompatible with Chinese culture is being targeted and removed. Secular buildings were the first target, with any Islamic motifs being banned from public and private buildings and many Arab style buildings were converted into Chinese style pavilions. This has been followed by a ban on building any new ‘Arabic’ style mosques, with any new buildings reportedly having to conform to Chinese cultural and architectural traditions.

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Issue 18: Confiscation of Religious Materials

World Uyghur Congress, 2 June 2018

In 2017, Chinese authorities in East Turkistan ordered Uyghurs to hand to in religious materials, including copies of the Quran, prayer mats and religious books. Chinese police reportedly sent out an order over social media instructing Uyghurs to voluntarily hand in these items or face punishment. Qurans and prayer mats are essential to practicing Uyghur Muslims and almost every Uyghur household would possess these items. Their confiscation is a needlessly oppressive measure that makes it impossible to meaningfully practice Islam.

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Issue 17: Detentions on Religious Charges: Merdan Seyitakhun

World Uyghur Congress, 1 June 2018

Merdan Seyitakhun was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Ili Intermediate Court on 14 April 2008 after being charged with ‘acts of separatism’. He, along with 11 other Uyghur men were from Ghulja and Nelke counties were arrested by Chinese authorities between March and June 2008 for teaching Islam to children and engaging in ‘illegal religious activities’.

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Weekly Brief June 1st

World Uyghur Congress, 1 June 2018

Society for Threatened People Retain NGO Status in UN, Despite China’s Attempts to Silence Them

The Society for Threatened Peoples  has issued a press release expressing concern with the growing influence of authoritarian states in the United Nations, after the Chinese mission had attempted to revoke its NGO status because of an alleged violation of UN rules related to the accreditation of long-time STP member and WUC President Dolkun Isa.

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