UNPO Calls for Independent Investigation in East Turkestan

UNPO, 2 May 2013

UNPO, together with the World Uyghur Congress, has called for the European Parliament to urge the UN to set up an independent investigative team to report on the recent violent clashes opposing Uyghurs and Chinese authorities in the Kashgar region (East Turkestan).

Below is the appeal published by UNPO sent to Members of the European Parliament and other EU Institutions

URGENT APPEAL                    for immediate release

UNPO Calls for Independent Investigation on Xinjiang Violence

European Parliament Must Urge UN to Set Up Investigative Team on Recent Kashgar Region Clashes

Brussels, 2 May 2013

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) are calling for the European Parliament to urge for a UN-backed independent investigation on recent violent clashes in the Kashgar area, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (China), which left 21 dead last 23 April 2013.

Unfortunately, this is far from a unique occurrence. Clashes between Chinese police forces and Uyghur men and women reached a peak in July 2009, but tensions have not subsided since, with regular confrontations. The fate of those arrested en mass last week is feared for, as China regularly forcedly disappears or arbitrarily detains Uyghurs coined as “terrorist” by Chinese officials.

Chinese officials have developed a strategy in which they assimilate such violence to “terrorist acts” perpetrated by the Uyghur community. This serves their purpose of criminalizing Uyghurs well, effectively branding them as terrorists despite continuous lack of proof or evidence as to Uyghur wrongdoing. Incidents such as this one are immediately followed by total media blackouts in the region and further tightening of already existing restrictions imposed on the Uyghur community.

Ms Rebiya Kadeer, President of the Wold Uyhgur Congress, has repeatedly stated that the Uyghur people and international community have every right to be skeptical about Chinese government allegations. The need for a UN appointed team of investigators therefore becomes pressing in order to conduct an independent inquiry on the nature of the incident. China, with its dismal records in the protection of human rights has lost all credibility in terms of providing accounts of such incidents. Uyghur groups will not cease asking for explicit proof, and neither should the international community.

For media queries please contact:
Maud Vanwalleghem | +32 251 314 59 | mv@unpo.org

Related documents:

UNPO Appeal (PDF)