Uyghurs Stage International Demonstrations over Human Rights Abuses

World Uyghur Congress, 1 October 2014

WUC — A demonstration organized by the World Uyghur Congress alongside the East Turkestan Union in Europe was staged yesterday, October 1st, opposite the Chinese Consulate in Munich, Germany to protest the continued human rights violations by the Chinese government in East Turkestan. Demonstrations were also held in cities around the world with Uyghurs and others gathering to raise the issue with leaders and the public. The United States, Canada, Turkey and a number of other European states saw demonstrations similar in nature which allow for exiled Uyghurs to meet, maintain relationships, and collectively push for basic human rights for those back home.

Each year, October 1st acts as a day of mourning for the Uyghur people and serves to ensure that all remember the consistent discrimination of Uyghurs throughout China’s entire history since its founding in 1949. The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was created on the same day six years later ostensibly as a means to decentralize power to the periphery. Although the name suggests autonomy for the Uyghurs living there, there remain few, if any, signs that real power is retained by the region’s original inhabitants.

It is therefore important that we stand up and take these opportunities to call out the Chinese government for its continued abuses in East Turkestan. Freedom, justice, equality and self-determination must be cornerstones of any lasting solution to the current conflict, and it is through dialogue and collective action that this will soon be attainable.