International Conference – 50 Years After Test 596: China’s Nuclear Programme in East Turkestan and Its Impact Today

WUC, 29 February 2012

When an official delegation of MEPs will visit China in 2012, they will “insist on finding facts and new information about…East Turkestan and Tibet.”  This was the pledge made by László Tökés MEP during the conference, “50 Years After Test 596: China’s Nuclear Programme In East Turkestan And Its Impacts Today” where he emphasised “the moral dimension of this meeting – because on behalf of the united Europe it is a total immorality if it ignores the destiny of East Turkestan, of peoples…which have to suffer such an oppression as the Uyghurs have to suffer”.

Co-sponsor of the conference, Kristiina Ojuland MEP, noted her experience of Communist mismanagement of nuclear facilities and reflected that unlike Estonia, China had allowed “no independent risk assessment of Lop Nor…no steps taken to address possible health problems, and that a culture of state secrecy prevents any constructive steps being taken to mitigate the effects of successive nuclear tests.”

It was important that the European Union “speak on behalf of the victims…to give voice to those silenced by a repressive government” Dolkun Isa (WUC Secretary General) noted, because despite “the sad heritage of devastating health and environmental effects” Beijing made it impossible for victims to seek redress.  Marino Busdachin (UNPO General Secretary), believed it crucial “to lift a veil of secrecy, and…by raising such issues of concern, we will not only be giving voice to those in East Turkestan – we will be supporting their nonviolent campaign for the rights supposedly guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.’

Enver Tohti (Independent Uyghur Medical Researcher), depicted Beijing’s unwillingness to address the issue and urged for “compensation to civilians, and money invested in medical facilities”. In this vein, Hanno Schedler (Society for Threatened Peoples) pressed Europe to “advocate for Human Rights in East Turkestan.”  Attendees also learned of the background and possible effects of Beijing’s nuclear testing programme from Vincent Metten (International Campaign for Tibet) and Antoinette de Jong (Journalist). Jean-Marie Rogue (FIDH) and Dominique Lalanne (Armes Nucléaires STOP) discussed what could be done to correct the situation through existing mechanisms and the ways in which Beijing could act to compensate the civilian victims of the tests.

Note to Editors:

Convened by László Tökés MEP, Kristiina Ojuland MEP and Vytautas Landsbergis MEP, ‘50 Years After Test 596: China’s Nuclear Programme In East Turkestan And Its Impacts Today’ is the first in Europe to bring together experts, leading NGOs, and personal testimony to raise awareness of the high rates of cancer, birth defects, and radiation-related illnesses in East Turkestan.

Organised by the Offices of László Tőkés MEP, Kristiina Ojuland MEP and Vytautas Landsbergis MEP

In collaboration with:



Opening Remarks

László Tökés MEP
Kristiina Ojuland MEP
Dolkun Isa, WUC Secretary General
Marino Busdachin, UNPO Secretary General

Panel 1: Three Decades of Nuclear Testing in East Turkestan

’46 Detonations Later: The Human Costs of the CCP´s Nuclear Programme’
Dr. Enver Tohti, Uyghur Surgeon and Independent Researcher

‘Nuclear Tibet: Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Waste on the Tibetan Plateau’
Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director, International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)

‘Nuclear Devastation in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, the Urals and Siberia’
Antoinette de Jong , journalist and co-author of “Certificate no.  000358, Nuclear Devastation in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, the Urals and Siberia”

Documentary Screening: ‘Death on the Silk Road’
Channel 4 Television (UK), 1998, 20 min.

Panel 2: Redressing the Past to Benefit the Future

‘Defining the Scale of the Problem behind Beijing´s ‘Wall of Secrecy’’
Hanno Schedler, Deputy Head of Asia Department, Society for Threatened Peoples (STP)

‘An Assessment of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue’
Jean-Marie Rogue, EU Liaison Officer, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

‘International Compensation Models and Fair Redress: French Redress for Victims in Polynesia’
Dominique Lalanne, Chair Armes Nucléaires STOP, Expert for Observatoire des Armements, France




  • 2011 The City of Kashgar Conference click here
  • 2010 China-Uyghur Dialogue Conference click here (conference report here)
  • 2009 Hearing: WUC and UNPO at EU Parliament click here
  • 2009 Conference: East Turkestan: 60 Years Under China click here
  • UNPO & WUC Spearheading Uyghur Leadership Training Seminar click here