Uyghur Women and Human Rights: A speech by Rebiya Kadeer during the 4th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues
Speech delivered by WUC president Rebiya Kadeer during the 4th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues at the Human Rights Council, Geneva, 29-30 November 2011:
Thank you Madame Chair.
It is truly my honor to participate and speak in this Forum. Uyghur women in East Turkestan, a region that the Chinese government renamed as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, are facing a number of challenges that undermine their individual and collective human rights.
In the wake of the July 2009 massacre of peaceful Uyghur protesters in the regional capital of Urumchi, a group of Uyghur women gathered on the streets of Urumchi on July 7, 2009 to ask Chinese security forces what had happened to their husbands, fathers and brothers, who had been arrested en masse in indiscriminate security sweeps of Uyghur neighborhoods. Without the actions of these women, the international community may not have known about the mass detentions and forcible disappearances that were taking place in the city, since the Chinese government had used intimidation, detention and even beatings in an attempt to manage the actions of foreign reporters who had come to Urumchi. Many of those women simply disappeared after the July 7 protest.Continue Reading →