Invitation: launch of a new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project

The World Uyghur Congress, the Uyghur American Association, and the National Endowment for Democracy

cordially invite you to

the launch of a new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project,

CAN ANYONE HEAR US?  VOICES FROM THE 2009 UNREST IN URUMCHI

and a roundtable discussion on

UYGHUR-HAN TENSIONS:  CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES

Thursday, July 1, 2010

2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004

Tel: 202-378-9700

RSVP with name and affiliation by Tuesday, June 29

to rsvp2@ned.org

On July 5, 2009, thousands of young Uyghur protestors, holding the red flags of the People’s Republic of China, peacefully took to the streets of Urumchi to protest against the beating and killing of several Uyghur migrant workers a week earlier at a toy factory in Guangdong province and to demand respect for the human rights of the Uyghur people. Two days later, according to Chinese government media, the death toll from street riots stood at 197 (of whom the vast majority were reported to be Han Chinese), with 1,700 injured.  Chinese President Hu Jintao left the G8 Summit in Rome early and returned to Beijing to manage the unrest, one of the worst cases of inter-ethnic violence in the history of the People’s Republic of China.

In the aftermath of the violence, independent observers voiced concerns about a large number of deaths of Uyghurs as well as Han Chinese, as well as sweeping detentions of young men in Urumchi and other cities, with 26 death sentences and nine executions officially reported to date.

In advance of the one-year anniversary of the Urumchi unrest, analysts will assess the causes of the transformation of peaceful demonstrations into deadly inter-ethnic violence, government policy responses to the unrest, the effect of those policies on Uyghur and Han populations in Xinjiang, and the likely outcomes of the May 2010 Xinjiang Work Conference hosted by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Agenda

2:00     Report Launch:  Can Anyone Hear Us?  Voices from the 2009 Unrest in Urumchi. What Happened?  From July 5 through the September “syringe attacks.”

Amy Reger, Researcher, Uyghur Human Rights Project, and

Henryk Szadziewski, Project Manager, Uyghur Human Rights Project

**Special Feature:  Testimony of two eyewitnesses

With comments by:

Dr. Sophie Richardson, Advocacy Director for Asia, Human Rights Watch

Clothilde Le Coz, Washington Director, Reporters Without Borders

Moderator: Brian Joseph, Senior Director for Asia and Global Programs, NED

3:15     Coffee Break

3:30      Keynote Remarks:

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, President, World Uyghur Congress

Mr. Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy

4:00     Roundtable Discussion: Chinese government policy, developments on the ground, international perspectives.  Are the problems in Xinjiang and Tibet unique to ethnic minorities, or are there under-explored commonalities with other marginalized communities in China?

Dr. Dru Gladney, President, Pacific Basin Institute

Bhuchung Tsering, Vice President, International Campaign for Tibet

Dr. Yang Jianli, President, Initiatives for China

Hans Hogrefe, Democratic Staff Director, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Kara Abramson, Advocacy Director, Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Moderator:  Louisa Greve, Vice President for Asia, MENA, and Global Programs, NED

5:30 Close

Selected resources:

“The expert urged measures to weaken the identity of ethnic groups in policy-making, such as closing ethnic schools to promote more communication between different ethnic groups.”  (China Daily, June 4, 2010).

Society for Threatened Peoples,After the disturbances in Urumqi: Persecution of Uyghurs in China continues, May 2010.

Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 198 People in Xinjiang Reportedly Sentenced in Trials Marked By Lack of Transparency, March 26, 2010

Amnesty International, Hasty executions highlight unfair Xinjiang trials, November 10, 2009

Human Rights Watch, We Are Afraid to Even Look for Them, October 20, 2009

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Repression in China: Roots and Repercussions of The Urumqi Unrest, November 2009

Uyghur Human Rights Project, Politicized verdicts for six Uyghur defendants given death sentences, October 14, 2009 

Uyghur Human Rights Project, Separate and Unequal: The Status of Development in East Turkestan, September 28, 2009

The Roberts Report, The Information War over the Urumqi Riots and the “Netizens” of China: Are we witnessing the dawn of a new era in Han Chinese nationalism?, July 10, 2009

Human Rights in China, Religious Repression of Uighur Muslims — Architecture of Xinjiang Suppression Detailed, 2005