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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UNPO Resolution on East Turkestan

UNPO, 29 May 2010

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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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To the urgent attention of Mr. Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana

Re: Former Guantanamo Uyghur Detainees in Tirana

Rome, 19 May 2010

Caro Sindaco, Caro Edi,

It was nice meeting you in your office with Marco Pannella, Ermelinda and Pandeli the other day; I hope that something good will come out of those preliminary discussions and I look forward to continuing them in Rome soon. Today I write to bring to your attention the situation of the four Uyghurs that Albania has generously decided to host after their release from Guantanamo Bay in 2006. On 11 May 2009, thanks to the good offices of the Italian Embassy in Albania, I had the opportunity to meet three of these individuals in Tirana: Mr. Abu Bekker Quassim, Mr Ahtar and Mr Ahmad to discuss their situation and to gain an understanding of their needs.

As you may be aware, the Nonviolent Radical Party, transnational and transparty has been active for the last 20 years accessing different fora to foster the cause of the Uyghurs both in China and abroad. Moreover, part of our struggle for the protection and promotion of human rights was recently characterised when we promoted ways to assist the United States in the closing of Guantanamo Bay. We deeply appreciate the leadership role played by Albania in this matter and hope that soon the prison will be permanently shut down.

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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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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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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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UN EXPERT ON TORTURE SERIOUSLY CONCERNED ABOUT FORCIBLE RETURN OF ETHNIC UYGHURS FROM CAMBODIA TO CHINA

OHCHR / 22 December 2009

GENEVA (22 December 2009) – The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, expressed grave concern about the forcible return of 20 ethnic Uyghurs from Cambodia to China. The deportees were seeking asylum in Cambodia after having fled China during the past few months, following clashes between Uyghurs and Han, in the Xinjiang region in July 2009.

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