Weekly Brief November 17th

World Uyghur Congress, 17 November 2017

World Uyghur Congress Concludes Its 6th General Assembly in Munich, Germany

The World Uyghur Congress concluded its 6th General Assembly in Munich, Germany by maintaining its firm commitment to supporting the rights of the Uyghur population in East Turkestan. Former President Rebiya Kadeer was approved by the delegates as new Special Leader, and the meeting also saw the election of long-time Uyghur activist and co-founder of the WUC, Dolkun Isa, as its new president, former vice-president, Omer Kanat, elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Over 100 WUC delegates hailing from 18 countries met from November 10 to 12 to identify and prioritize the issues and challenges that the organization must address, and to develop a working strategy to advance the WUC mission of promoting freedom, human rights, and democracy for the Uyghur people. Delegates also participated in the WUC’s triennial leadership elections.

Delegates passed several resolutions underscoring the organization’s commitment to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the fundamental spirit of all the rights therein, and its founding principle of pursuing purely peaceful, non-violent action in support of its objectives.

In his remarks as the newly elected president, Dolkun Isa emphasized the spirit of unity among Uyghurs in exile and WUC’s duty to speak with moral clarity. He pledged to cooperate closely with all civil society and governments supporting freedom and justice, and expressed his firm conviction that the Uyghur people will someday realize their democratic rights and freedoms.

WUC Holds Advocacy and Leadership Workshop 

Building on previous workshops, the World Uyghur Congress held a Leadership and Advocacy Workshop from November 13-14, 2017 in Munich, Germany. The workshop focused on how best to advance the objectives of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) in the year ahead, given the state of international politics and a rising China today.

The workshop immediately followed the WUC’s 6th General Assembly (November 10-12, 2017), and enabled the new WUC leadership to focus on setting concrete and realistic objectives for advocacy. Participants of the workshop worked to develop an action plan and timeline for realizing these objectives. The participants produced concrete action plans for the WUC secretariat, for elected officers, and for national affiliates that will lead to more effective and coordinated advocacy efforts in the year ahead.

Ethnic Kazakhs Targeted for Searches and Mass Detentions by Chinese Police

This week, further instances of harassment and arbitrary detention were perpetrated against ethnic Kazakhs in East Turkestan by Chinese authorities. Kazakhs have been targeted, similarly to the Uyghurs due to the fact that many of them practice Islam and the Chinese authorities fears solidarity between the Kazakh and Uyghur populations.

It was first reported this week, by Radio Free Asia, that hundreds of ethnic Kazakh business owners were detained by Chinese authorities and their assets frozen, pending ‘investigation’. In large sweeps, Chinese police are estimated to have detained approximately 500 Kazakh businessmen. It was also reported that Chinese police conducted mass house-to-house searches of some 30,000 Kazakhs in East Turkestan, confiscating Qurans, prayer mats and other religious items.

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Police in China’s Xinjiang Raid Thousands of Muslim Kazakh Homes

Radio Free Asia, 16 November 2017

By Qiao Long – Chinese authorities in Tekes county in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have searched the homes of 30,000 members of the mostly Muslim Kazakh ethnic group in recent weeks, confiscating copies of the Quran, prayer mats and other religious items, RFA has learned.

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Amnesty says China detains 30 relatives of exiled Uighur leader

Reuters, 14 November 2017

By Ben Blanchard – Authorities in China’s far western region of Xinjiang have in recent months detained up to 30 relatives of an exiled ethnic Uighur leader, Rebiya Kadeer, rights group Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

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Weekly Brief November 10th

World Uyghur Congress, 10 November 2017


German City of Weimar Experiences Cyber Attack After Awarding Ilham Tohti

The city of Weimar, Germany, who awarded imprisoned Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti the Weimar Human Rights Prize in June of this year, has experienced repeated attacks on its official website, removing all news of the award from the site. Although the source of the attacks are not yet fully clear, past experience indicates that the actions very likely lead back to the Chinese government.

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Xinjiang Authorities Jail Uyghur ‘Religious Extremist’ For Scolding Son For Drinking

Radio Free Asia, 8 November 2017

By Shohret Hoshur – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang province have sentenced a 67-year-old ethnic Uyghur Muslim to 10 years in prison for “religious extremism,” more than a decade after he scolded his son for breaking Islamic custom by drinking alcohol, according to the man’s wife.

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Families of Uyghur Police Officers Among Those Detained in Xinjiang’s Kashgar

Radio Free Asia, 6 November 2017

By Shohret Hoshur – Family members of ethnic Uyghur security personnel in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, who authorities had previously considered “off limits,” are among those now being detained as part of “stability” measures the officers have been tasked with enforcing, according to sources.

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Xinjiang Residents Told to Hand Over ‘Two-Faced’ Officials

Radio Free Asia, 3 November 2017

By Kurban Niyaz – Authorities in northwestern China’s Xinjiang are urging citizens to turn in ethnic Uyghur workers in government and other public sectors suspected of disloyalty toward Chinese policies in the politically sensitive region, sources say.

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Weekly Brief November 3rd

World Uyghur Congress, 3 November 2017

Chinese Authorities Detain At Least 30 of Rebiya Kadeer’s Relatives

The President of the World Uyghur Congress and noted advocate for rights for the Uyghur people, Rebiya Kadeer, has had 11 of her immediate family members and 30 family members in total detained in East Turkestan by Chinese authorities in recent weeks. Ms. Kadeer can’t find any information about the well-being or whereabouts of her detained family members, but speculated that they were “sent to prison or the political re-education camps”.

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