WUC to Stage Joint Demonstration in Munich on International Human Rights Day

Press Release – For immediate release
11 December 2011
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or

On the International Human Rights Day – 10 December 2011 – the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and East Turkestan Union in Europe will stage a demonstration from 14:00 to 16:00 in Munich, Germany. With this demonstration, the WUC aims to draw attention to the Chinese government’s systematic human rights violations against the Uyghur people in East Turkestan.

For many years, the Chinese government has waged an intense and often brutal campaign against all forms of political, cultural and social activities of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan. Despite the peacefulness and nonviolence of these activities, the Uyghur population is not only systematically oppressed, but also forcibly assimilated both on a cultural and on an identity level into Han culture.

On the one hand, since 2004 the Chinese government increased its efforts to shift the medium of instruction throughout the entire education system in the region from Uyghur to Mandarin. The authorities claim that the language policy is making the region’s school system “bilingual,” but the trend has been toward eliminating instruction in Uyghur completely or relegating the language to a second level. On the other hand, important Uyghur cultural treasures like the “Old City” of Kashgar, one of the legendary cities of the Silk Road, are selectively demolished and destroyed under the pretext of modernization. In addition, many peaceful religious activities are forbidden in today´s East Turkestan.

The authorities have economically marginalized the Uyghur population in East Turkestan through intensive and blatant racial discrimination in employment.  Also the Uyghurs´ right to freedom of expression and opinion is regularly violated by the Chinese authorities. Many Uyghur journalists, blogger, and authors have been sentenced to long and harsh prison terms, including life imprisonment, in the last years. Routinely, the Chinese authorities equate Uyghur culture and its exercise with the so-called “three evils” (terrorism, separatism and religious extremism) to advance their persecution of the Uyghur people.

“The life of Uyghurs today in East Turkestan resembles an open-air prison, where discrimination penetrates into all possible areas of everyday life,” said WUC President Rebiya Kadeer today.

Therefore, it is very important to draw attention to the situation of Uyghur people in East Turkestan not only in the context of International Human Rights Day. The WUC and its member organizations have been working for many years for the improvement of the human rights situation of the Uyghur people and to prevent the Uyghurs from being forgotten by the international community.

Details of the demonstration:

Location: Karlsplatz 25, 80335 München
Time and Date: Begin: at 14:00, 10.12.2011 (Saturday)

Organiser: World Uyghur Congress (WUC) & East Turkistan Union in Europe