Uyghur Human Rights Activists to Stage Demonstration With Tibetan, Falun Gong, and Chinese Activists During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s Visit to France

For immediate release
November 3, 2010
Contact:  World Uyghur Congress
www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 (Munich, Germany)

On November 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm, during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Paris, the France Uyghur Community, a member organization of the World Uyghur Congress, will join Tibetan, Falun Gong, and Chinese human rights activists in Paris in protesting the Chinese government’s egregious and relentless human rights violations.  Activists will peacefully march from the Parvis des Droits de l’Homme au Trocadéro à Paris to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Paris. The march is being organized by l’Association de “la Communauté Tibétaine de France et ses Amis.” See http://www.tibetan.fr/?Paris-Une-manifestation-nationale.

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) respectfully urges French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other officials in the French government to convey France’s concern to President Hu over the Chinese government’s persecution and repression of Uyghurs and other peoples.  WUC is based in Germany and is an umbrella organization of Uyghur human rights groups worldwide.

“President Hu’s visit to France is a good opportunity for President Sarkozy and the French government to demonstrate their commitment to human rights and human dignity and express France’s concern to President Hu over the Chinese government’s brutal and repressive treatment of the Uyghur people and other peoples,” said WUC President, former prisoner of conscience, and multiple-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Rebiya Kadeer.

For many years, the Chinese government has waged an intense and often brutal campaign to repress all forms of Uyghur dissent, crack down on Uyghurs’ peaceful religious activities and independent expressions of ethnicity, dilute Uyghurs’ culture and identity as a distinct people, and threaten the survival of the Uyghur language. The authorities have routinely equated Uyghurs’ peaceful political, religious, and cultural activities with the “three evils” – terrorism, separatism and religious extremism – and have couched their persecution of the Uyghurs as efforts to quash these “three evils.” The authorities have also economically marginalized the Uyghurs in East Turkestan through intense and blatant racial discrimination in employment.

On July 5, 2009, Uyghurs in Urumchi (the regional capital) staged a peaceful demonstration against the human rights violations. Chinese security forces moved in and brutally and lethally suppressed the protest. Eyewitnesses interviewed by Amnesty International indicated that security forces fired on/shot at the demonstrators and extrajudicially killed demonstrators. Eyewitnesses also told Amnesty International that security forces beat and kicked demonstrators. Security forces also used stun batons and tear gas on the demonstrators.  Uyghur human rights organizations and overseas media outlets received similar witness accounts of security forces extrajudicially killing Uyghur demonstrators and using other types of brutal and excessive force against demonstrators.

Ethnic unrest and violence followed, as well as one of the Chinese government’s fiercest and most repressive crackdowns on Uyghurs in history.

The human rights violations that the Chinese authorities have perpetrated against the Uyghurs in the aftermath of and in connection with the July 2009 incidents have included but have not been limited to:  mass and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of Uyghurs, including minors; arbitrary sentencing of Uyghurs to death and other severe sentences after trials plagued with politicization and strangleholds on due process; arbitrary executions; and increased restrictions on freedom of speech and expression, including the prosecution and sentencing of Uyghur website staff.