Ms.Rebiya Kadeer, the President of the World Uyghur Congress express their deepest gratitude to His Holiness The Dalai Lama

For immediate release

March 10, 2010, Munich, Germany

Contact: World Uyghur Congress +49 89 5432 1999

Rebiya Kadeer, the President of the World Uyghur Congress express their deepest gratitude to His Holiness The Dalai Lama for raising awareness of the Uyghurs’ plight during his speech to 3,000 Tibetans in Dharamsala, India today on Tibet Uprising Day, as well as for His Holiness’ many  years of support for the Uyghur people. 

Rebiya Kadeer, the President of the World Uyghur Congress, released the following statement:

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THIRTEEN YEARS ON, THE VICTIMS OF THE GHULJA MASSACRE REMAIN UNACCOUNTED FOR

For immediate release

February 5, 2010, 3:30 pm EST

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

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) marks the thirteenth anniversary of the Ghulja Massacre, when police opened fire on a peaceful demonstration of Uyghurs in the city of Ghulja [Ch: Yining] in East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), and thousands of people were detained on suspicion of participating in the demonstration. The anniversary follows a year in which an untold number of peaceful Uyghur demonstrators were killed by Chinese security forces in the regional capital of Urumchi, and police and military forces conducted mass arrests and arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs throughout the city.

“Thirteen years later, mothers, wives and children of many who disappeared in the Ghulja Massacre do not even know if their loved ones are dead or alive,” said Uyghur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer. “The families of those who disappeared deserve to know what happened to their loved ones. It is incomprehensible that so many years later, the truth of the Ghulja Massacre continues to be hidden from the people of East Turkestan. Our grief is only compounded as we mourn the disappearance of countless others who have been arbitrarily detained in the wake of unrest in Urumchi.”

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Appeals for action: STOP HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST UIGHURS IN CHINA

Originally published by Amnesty International, 5 February 2010

The police crackdown on peaceful Uighur demonstrations in Urumqi in July 2009 echoed incidents from the past, including the violent repression of a Uighur protest in Gulja (Chinese: Yining) 13 years ago in February 1997.

During the intervening years, the Chinese authorities have failed to effectively address Uighurs’ long-standing grievances about discrimination and widespread violations of their economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.

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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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