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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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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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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Weekly Brief October 27th

World Uyghur Congress, 27 October 2017

Party Secretary Known For Repression in East Turkestan and Tibet Appointed to Politburo

China’s 19th Party Congress continued in a very concerning direction this week, as the former Party Secretary for Tibet and current Party Secretary for East Turkestan, Chen Quanguo, was appointed to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Chen Quanguo made his name in the Chinese government by implementing a series of repressive policies to stifle any expressions of dissent, first in Tibet and now in East Turkestan.

Since his appointment as Party Secretary in East Turkestan, Chinese authorities have sent tens of thousands of police and military personnel to East Turkestan and have heavily securities the area. Countless roadblocks across the region, the extensive use of invasive forms of surveillance and the mass arrest and detention of Uyghurs merely seeking to peacefully practice their religion or express themselves, has led to an oppressive and suffocating environment. These policies have been enacted with little to no regard to the lives, well-being and basic rights of the Uyghur people that they affect.

His appointment is seen as a reward by Xi Jinping for his role is suppressing and controlling the Uyghur and Tibetan authorities. It is then a very worrying indication of the intention and direction of the Chinese government over the next five years and will likely mean further oppression and violence towards the Uyghurs, Tibetans and all Chinese individuals who speak up for human rights and democracy.

Elderly Uyghurs Among the Thousands Held in Re-Education Camps

It has been reported this week that a number of elderly Uyghurs were detained and sent to re-education camps by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan. According to Radio Free Asia, they were investigated and targeted for peacefully practicing their religion and were sent to the camps after undertaking the Hajj and for praying five times a day at a local mosque. Thousands of Uyghurs have been detained and sent to re-education camps to be indoctrinated in recent years, but subjecting the elderly to this sort of punishment is particularly egregious.

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Weekly Brief October 20th

World Uyghur Congress, 20 October 2017

WUC Issues Press Release Expressing Concern Over China’s 19th Party Congress Rhetoric

The  World Uyghur Congress issued a press release this week expressing its deep concern with the troubling rhetoric espoused in China’s 19th Party Congress, especially in the speech of  Xi Jinping.

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Weekly Brief October 13th

World Uyghur Congress, 13 October 2017

WUC Holds Human Rights Advocacy Training Seminar in Sweden

Starting Friday, 13 October 2017, the World Uyghur Congress is holding a 3 day Human Rights Advocacy Training Seminar for Uyghur youth in Stockholm, Sweden, in partnership with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and the Sweden Uyghur Education Union.

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Weekly Brief October 5th

World Uyghur Congress, 5 October 2017

Uyghur Student Disappears After Arrest in Egypt

A Uyghur student who was studying at the Al-Azhar University in Egypt disappeared on July 16th after being detained by Egyptian authorities and has not been seen or heard from since. His wife has been desperately trying to find any news about the fate or whereabouts of her husband, but so far there has been no information. She spoke about his case and appealed for any information through Radio Free Asia. It was reported that 16 Uyghur students had disappeared after being arrested in Egypt last week and there is great concern that they are at risk of being deported to China.

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Weekly Brief September 29

World Uyghur Congress, 29 September 2017

WUC Expresses its Deep Concern Over the Disappearance of 16 Uyghur Students in Egypt

Following reports that 16 Uyghur students had disappeared in Egypt, the World Uyghur Congress issues a press release calling on Egyptian authorities to immediately reveal the whereabouts of the students who have been forcibly disappeared in Cairo. The recent disappearances merely exacerbate already-present violations against Uyghur students who have been arbitrarily detained since early July.

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