2nd Anniversary of the 5 July 2009 Events: Two Years of Impunity – Join the Call for Action by the World Uyghur Congress

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On 5 July 2009, Uyghurs in Urumqi, the capital of East Turkestan, staged a peaceful protest which was brutally suppressed by Chinese security forces and subsequently led to ethnic unrest in the city that left hundreds of people dead. Approaching the second anniversary of these events, and despite international calls, no independent investigation into the incident has been allowed by the Chinese authorities and the number of people killed, detained, imprisoned, executed and disappeared remains unclear.

The July 2009 protest began with a peaceful demonstration by Uyghurs in Urumqi that was brutally and lethally suppressed by Chinese security forces. The Uyghurs were protesting against a lack of government action in regard to a deadly attack on Uyghur factory workers in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province in the south of China. The violent and illegal reaction of the Chinese security forces to the peaceful protest led then to ethnic violence and riots between Uyghurs and Han Chinese, during which hundreds of Uyghur and Han Chinese civilians were killed. According to data published by the Chinese Xinhua news agency, 197 people were killed, but the World Uyghur Congress estimates – based on eyewitness reports – that more than 1000 people died in the riots. However, until today, the exact death toll on both sides is not clear since so far no independent investigation of these events has been undertaken.

The human rights situation of the Uyghur population in East Turkestan has been dire for decades and has even worsened since the July 2009 protest and ethnic unrest in Urumqi. The human rights violations that the Chinese authorities have perpetrated against the Uyghurs in the aftermath of the July 2009 incidents have included but have not been limited to: mass and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of Uyghurs (including of minors); arbitrary sentencing of Uyghurs to death, life, and various jail terms after trials plagued with intense politicization and strangleholds on due process; arbitrary executions; and intensified repression of freedom of expression, including but not limited to the detention and sentencing of Uyghur webmasters, bloggers, and journalists.

On July 5, 2011 and in the days surrounding July 5th, Uyghurs in exile and their supporters around the globe will stage demonstrations and other actions to commemorate the second anniversary of one of the saddest and most tragic days in the history of the Uyghur people and of East Turkestan and to ensure that the world does not forget about the devastating plight of the Uyghur people.

Join in one of the many demonstrations that are being organized worldwide by the World Uyghur Congress and/or its affiliate organizations 5 July 2011.  Show your support for Uyghurs’ basic human rights and freedoms.

United States  – Washington DC

Canada –  Toronto

Turkey – Istanbul, Ankara

Germany – Munich

Norway – Oslo

Sweden – Stockholm

Finland – Helsinki

France – Paris

Netherlands – The Hague

Belgium – Brussels

Australia – Canberra

Kazakhstan – Almaty

Japan – Tokyo

England – London

For more information, contact Dolkun Isa, Secretary-General of the World Uyghur Congress at dolkun@gmail.com or 0049 (0) 89 5432 1999

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