Nonviolent Radical Party Addresses Discrimination of the Uyghur People at 19th UN Human Rights Council

WUC, 13 March 2012

On 13 March 2012, WUC Project Coordinator Jana Brandt, on behalf of the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational Transparty (NRPTT) delivered an oral statement on human rights violations against the Uyghurs people during the general debate on item 4 (“Human rights situations that require the Council´s attention”) at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

In its oral statement, the NRPTT expressed its concerns over the increased religious oppression in East Turkestan. Restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities include, but are not limited to, bans on religious clothing, strict control of religious leaders, and censorship campaigns against “illegal propaganda materials.”

The NRPTT also denounced that threats, detentions and prison terms in connection to peaceful religious activities are widespread, raising as one of the many examples the case of Imam Abdukiram Abduveli, who was imprisoned in 1990 for “counterrevolutionary activities” and who still remains in prison after his initially 12-years prison term has been extended already three times under unknown charges.

While the curbs over religion in East Turkestan have increased in the past year, religious oppression against the Uyghur people is not new, as noted by the NRPTT. The Chinese authorities found in the 9/11 attacks the perfect excuse to crackdown on all forms of peaceful Uyghur dissent, creating a dangerous and unfounded link between the Muslim faith and the so-called “three forces” of terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism. In this regard, the NRPTT condemned the so-called “Strike Hard Campaigns” launched by the Chinese authorities regularly to prevent “social instability” in East Turkestan. The NRPTT noted that these campaigns mainly target peaceful expressions of Uyghur identity and tend to over-state the seriousness of a perceived crime. A part from that, they consistently result in accelerated judicial proceedings, arbitrary detentions, and enforced disappearances.

Since these restrictions leave the Uyghur population without space for their religious practices, and increase social tension in the region, the NRPTT called on the Human Rights Council and particularly on the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, to investigate these severe violations of fundamental freedoms, notably the freedom of religion, committed by the Chinese authorities against the Uyghur people.

In addition, the NRPTT, with the support of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), submitted a written statement entitled “Violation of Uyghurs’ right to health: Nuclear testing in Xinjiang” to the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council under item 4. The statement calls on the People’s Republic of China and the UN Human Rights Council to draw attention to, and address the issue of Lop Nor. It also requests that victims receive medical assistance, and for independent research to be conducted in the Lop Nor area to assess how great the risk is.

The full oral statement is available here.

The written statement is available here.

The video of the intervention is available here.