CECC Quick Brief: Human Rights Conditions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Originally published by CECC, 07 july 2010

United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China

 Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Chairman | Representative Sander M. Levin, Cochairman

  In the one year since the government suppression of a demonstration by Uyghurs and multi-ethnic riots in Xinjiang starting July 5, 2009, human rights conditions in this far western region of China have worsened. Acts of deadly violence took place during the week of July 5, a time during which both Uyghurs and Han Chinese were reported to have committed violent assaults on each other. At the same time that authorities punish people for violent crimes, official statements also suggest that some July 5 protesters, including organizers of the demonstration, may be subject to criminal punishment or other repercussions based solely on political grounds. In the aftermath of the July events, authorities instituted unprecedented levels of control over the free flow of information, denying Xinjiang residents and the outside world news about conditions in the region and increasing the government’s capacity to control information. Amid this information blackout, authorities strengthened security measures and campaigns to promote “ethnic unity,” using them to quell free speech, curb independent religious activity, and impose controls over the lives of XUAR residents. Authorities have singled out Uyghurs in particular in security campaigns, and the whereabouts of some Uyghurs detained in the aftermath of the July demonstrations and riots remain unknown.

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World Uyghur Congress and Young Turks USA to Stage Demonstration in Front of China’s Permanent Mission to the UN to Defend Uyghurs’ Human Rights and Commemorate One-Year Anniversary of Urumchi Tragedy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York,

July 7, 2010

Contact:
(1) Kathy Polias, World Uyghur Congress, (347) 285-6546, kathypolias@gmail.com.
(2) Tulga Tekman, Young Turks USA, (203) 331-5415, tulgatekman@yahoo.com; AND/OR
(3) Cenk Coktosun, Young Turks USA, (718) 864-8157, youngturks_usa@yahoo.com.

The World Uyghur Congress (www.uyghurcongress.org) and the Young Turks Cultural Aid Society, Inc. (also known as Young Turks USA) will stage a demonstration directly across the street from China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, 350 E. 35th Street, New York, NY this Thursday, July 8, 2010 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The demonstration will be to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the tragic events in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China), and protest the Chinese government’s horrific persecution of the Uyghur people.  On July 5, 2009, Chinese security forces brutally suppressed a peaceful protest by Uyghurs in Urumchi and killed many protestors according to eyewitnesses.  Ethnic unrest and violence followed, as well as one of the Chinese government’s fiercest and most repressive crackdowns on Uyghurs in history.  The human rights violations that the Chinese authorities have perpetrated against the Uyghurs in the aftermath of the July 2009 incidents have included but have not been limited to:  mass and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of Uyghurs, including minors; arbitrary sentencing of Uyghurs to death and other severe sentences after trials plagued with politicization and strangleholds on due process; and arbitrary executions.

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Press notes on demonstration in Munich, Germany

WUC, 06 July 2010

YYesterday a solemn vigil and a peaceful demonstration were held in the center of Munich in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the tragic events of 5 July 2009 in Urumqi, the capital of East Turkestan, when Chinese security forces brutally suppressed a peaceful protest by Uyghurs in Urumqi and killed an untold number of protestors.

The unrest began with a peaceful demonstration of Uyghurs in the city who were protesting against a lack of government action in regard to a deadly attack on Uyghur factory workers in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province in the south of China. Only due to the violent intervention of the Chinese security forces the protests escalated. The riots on 5 July 2009 and in subsequent days, in which at least 197 people were killed, must be attributed to the continued denial of human rights for Uyghurs in East Turkestan. Since the protests in July 2009, Chinese authorities arrested thousands of people and a vast number of Uyghurs, including teenage boys, were forcibly disappeared. Eyewitnesses reported to media and international human rights organizations like Amnesty International that the Chinese security forces committed extrajudicial killings of demonstrators. In addition, persons who are accused of having participated in the protests were subjected to unfair trials. So far, 33 Uyghur have been sentenced to death and six of them have been already executed. Following these terrible events, Chinese authorities imposed the most violent and repressive information crackdown on Uyghurs in history. East Turkestan was cut off hermetically from the outside world about ten months.

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ACTION CALL BY THE WORLD UYGHUR CONGRESS (WUC): JOIN IN THE COMMEMORATION (PRESS CONFERENCE) IN PARIS OF THE 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE EVENTS OF 5 JULY 2009 IN URUMQI

Communique de Presse (In French)

Press Release (in English)

Flyer (in French)

For immediate release

June 30, 2010
Contact:  World Uyghur Congress

0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 (Munich, Germany),

Due to the upcoming first anniversary of the events of 5 July 2009 in Urumqi, the regional capital of East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China), when peaceful demonstrations of Uyghur people against government inaction on the killing of at least two Uyghur migrant workers by Han Chinese workers in a toy factory in Guangdong province, were brutally suppressed by Chinese security forces, killing an untold number of Uyghurs, different events are organised by the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and its affiliates organisations on 4 and 5 July 2010 in about 20 cities around the world.

The actions in Paris will take place on Sunday, 4 July 2010:

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Uyghur Exiles and their Supporters Worldwide to Commemorate the One-Year Anniversary of Urumchi Tragedy

For immediate release
June 29, 2010
Contact:  World Uyghur Congress (
www.uyghurcongress.org)
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 (Munich, Germany), +1 (202) 535 0048 (Washington, DC, USA)

On July 5, 2010 and in the days surrounding July 5th, Uyghurs in exile and their supporters  around the globe will stage demonstrations and other actions to commemorate the one-year anniversary of one of the saddest and most horrific days in the history of the Uyghur people and of East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China) and to ensure that the world does not forget about the devastating plight of the Uyghur people.

On July 5, 2009, Chinese security forces brutally suppressed a peaceful protest by Uyghurs in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan, and killed many protestors according to eyewitnesses.  Ethnic unrest and violence followed, as well as one of the Chinese government’s fiercest and most repressive crackdowns on Uyghurs in history.

The World Uyghur Congress (www.uyghurcongress.org), which promotes the human rights of the Uyghur people on behalf of the Uyghur exile community worldwide, is spearheading the global commemoration of July 5th.  WUC and its affiliate Uyghur human rights organizations are organizing actions in 17 countries, including but not limited to the United States, Japan, Turkey, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.  The actions will include demonstrations in front of Chinese foreign missions, marches, and conferences and teach-ins on the July 5th events and the aftermath.  For a list of actions worldwide, see

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THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT’S HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST UYGHUR PEOPLE SUBSTANTIALLY DISCUSSED DURING THE 14TH SESSION OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IN GENEVA

For immediate release
June 24, 2010
Contact: World Uyghur Congress (
www.uyghurcongress.org)
+1 (347) 285-6546 (United States) or  0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 (Munich, Germany)

The 14th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) (May 31 –June 18, 2010) concluded on Friday, June 18th in Geneva, Switzerland.  The World Uyghur Congress (www.uyghurcongress.org), the International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation (www.iuhrdf.org), and the Uyghur American Association (www.uyghuramerican.org) convey their deepest gratitude to the country and intergovernmental delegations, the United Nations mandate holders/Special Procedures, and the non-governmental organizations in consultative status to the UN that raised and discussed the Uyghurs’ plight at the HRC session.  

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UNPO Resolution on East Turkestan

UNPO, 29 May 2010

topstory

The UNPO General Assembly,

Recalling the 2008 Berlin Declaration and the 2010 Brussels Declaration adopted by the World Uyghur Congress and the UNPO, reiterating their call for the application of the Chinese Constitution and the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan and elsewhere;

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Watchdog: Nations getting away with murder

Amnesty International says ’09 a year of human rights setbacks, progress

Originally published by msnbc.msn,26  May 2010

LONDON – From Iran’s repressive crackdown on anti-government demonstrators to China’s bloody suppression of minority Uighurs, millions of people’s lives across the world continued to be torn apart last year by repression, violence, discrimination and death, Amnesty International says.

The London-based watchdog activist organization’s annual report on the state of human rights in 2009 found a web of repression, as governments failed to prosecute rights violations worldwide.

The report, released Wednesday, says millions face abuse while their tormenters flout justice.

Amnesty International called on governments to ensure accountability for their own actions and fully sign up to the International Criminal Court — something the U.S., China, Russia and a host of other countries have refused to do — to ensure that crimes under international law can be prosecuted anywhere in the world.

“Governments must ensure that no one is above the law, and that everyone has access to justice for all human rights violations,” said Claudio Cordone, interim secretary general of Amnesty International. “Until governments stop subordinating justice to political self-interest, freedom from fear and freedom from want will remain elusive for most of humanity.”

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