WUC welcomes the decision to resettle two Uyghurs from Guantánamo to Switzerland

For immediate release

February 3, 2010, 14:40 Munich, Germany

Contact: World Uyghur Congress +49 89 5432 1999

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) welcomes the Swiss government’s decision to accept two Uyghur detainees from the Guantánamo Bay detention center. Bahtiyar Mahmud and Arkin Mahmud had been held in Guantánamo Bay since 2002 without being charged of any crime. WUC believes that the two men, who have been the center of media reports for their legendary story of brotherly love, are about to be opened up to a new life in a free society, full of possibilities, of happiness and, above all, of liberty.

WUC deeply appreciates the remarkable, humanitarian gesture demonstrated by the Swiss government in making such a courageous, gracious and compassionate decision to accept these innocent men. Only very few countries have dared to take in Uyghurs from Guantánamo to date for fear of possible reprisals by the Chinese government. The act of the Swiss government sets an example of refusing to kowtow to the threat of loss of financial benefits through the trade relations with China in favor of defending the values of justice and irrevocable commitment to human dignity.  Equally important is the message the act sends to the whole world: the innocence of freedom can promise the freedom of the innocent. WUC is grateful as much to the Swiss government as to the United States government for not sending these men to China, where they would face severe persecution and, possibly, merciless execution.

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FOUR NEW DEATH SENTENCES ISSUED IN EAST TURKESTAN; CELL PHONE USERS PUNISHED FOR SENDING “HARMFUL TEXTS”

For immediate release

January 27, 2010, 2:45 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the issuance on January 25 of four new death sentences to Uyghurs in connection with unrest that took place in July 2009 in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan. The trials and convictions of these four men, announced on January 26 in Chinese state media, took place against a backdrop of unfair trials, a politicized judicial process and a lack of judicial transparency.

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UYGHUR AMERICAN ASSOCIATION CONDEMNS PATTERN OF UYGHUR REFUGEE REFOULEMENT FOLLOWING REPORTED DEPORTATIONS FROM MYANMAR

For immediate release

January 26, 2010, 12:30 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns the trend of the deportation of Uyghur refugees from countries near China, following reports that 17 Uyghurs, together with one Han Chinese man, were deported last week from Myanmar. The Chinese news portal Sina.com reported on January 20 that the 18 individuals were handed over to Chinese authorities on January 18. UAA calls upon the Chinese government to clarify this news, and, if it is accurate, to publicize information about the current whereabouts and treatment of the deportees. In addition, UAA calls upon countries neighboring China to refrain from deporting Uyghurs to China, where they may be subjected to extremely harsh treatment.

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INCREASED SECURITY BUDGET FAILS TO ADDRESS ROOT CAUSES OF INSTABILITY IN EAST TURKESTAN

For immediate release

January 14, 2010, 4:45 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) fears that the near doubling of the security budget for East Turkestan, announced on January 13 in Chinese state media, will broaden the scope of the ongoing official repression of Uyghurs and exacerbate ethnic tensions in the region. In the complete absence of any government acknowledgment of the deep social and developmental inequalities that contributed to the unrest in the regional capital of East Turkestan in July 2009, UAA is pessimistic about the possibility of any improvement in stability or social progress in the coming months, and believes the Chinese government’s heightened reliance on brute force to stabilize East Turkestan will be counterproductive and only heighten discontent among Uyghurs.

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Joint Statement on the Principle of Non-Refoulement and the Recent Forced Deportations of the Uighurs from Cambodia and the Lao Hmong from Thailand

Originally Published by Suara Rakyat Malaysia, 14 January 2010

We, the undersigned, condemn the actions in the last days of 2009 of some Asian governments in requesting, encouraging and performing the forcible deportation (refoulement) of refugees and asylum seekers from Cambodia and Thailand.  

We demand that all governments in the Asia-Pacific region reaffirm the importance of the principle of non-refoulement of asylum seekers and refugees. 

We further call on these governments and all governments in the Asia-Pacific region to resolve to make 2010 a year in which the basic rights of refugees and asylum seekers are recognised, including the fundamental principle of non-refoulement.

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Liberal Democrats: Uyghurs must have fair trial – Watson

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

Contact:   Euan Roddin – +32 475 59 13 74

Embargo:  Immediate, Thursday 7th January 2010 

 

Statement by Graham Watson MEP on the extradition of twenty Uyghurs from Cambodia to China and their need for a fair trial.

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Uyghur American Association Strongly Condemns the Sentencing of 22 Uyghurs in East Turkestan

For immediate release

December 23, 2009, 7:30 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

 The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the latest sentencing of 22 Uyghurs in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan (aka: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). A spokeswoman for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional government Wednesday stated “a group of 22 people … were tried” on charges connected with deadly unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009. According to spokeswoman Hou Hanmin, 19-year old Mehmet Maheti was sentenced to death. The exact date of Maheti’s execution remains unclear. The trials of the 22 Uyghur men, similar to the previous closed trials since July 5, were marked by politicized judicial proceedings and a lack of transparency.

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CHINA: FORCIBLY RETURNED UIGHUR ASYLUM SEEKERS AT RISK

Human Rights Watch / December 22, 2009

(New York) – The Chinese government should immediately allow access to the 20 Uighur asylum seekers who were forcibly deported to China on December 19, 2009, in what was a breach by the Cambodian government of its obligations under international law, Human Rights Watch said today. The group of Uighurs included 17 men, one woman, and two children.

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