Protestors Call for China to End Discrimination and Violence towards Uyghurs

Demonstration in Geneva, 7 August 2009

The demonstration will start at the Palais de Wilson at 13h00 and progress to the Place des Nations at UN.

For immediate release
July 20, 2009, 5:30 pm EST
Contact: World Uyghur Congress +49 (89) 54321999

Several hundred people will gather outside the United Nations in Geneva on August 7th 2009 to demand that China be held accountable for the longstanding cruel and inhumane treatment of Uyghurs in the East Turkestan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region).

It is timed to coincide with the 75th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which will examine China’s compliance with the UN International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The protestors demand that recent events also be taken into consideration as evidence of continuing racial discrimination towards non-Han Chinese citizens.

In June and July Chinese authorities undertook brutal crackdowns in towns throughout the region following peaceful demonstrations that called for an inquest into the violent killings of Uyghur workers at a toy factory. Today, over one month since that attack, more than 10000 Uyghurs remain incarcerated without having faced trial, around 1000 have been killed and many thousands injured. Crucially Chinese official figures claim that fewer than 200 people were killed, the majority of whom were of Han Chinese ethnicity.

The demonstration has been organized by the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), and supported by the Society for Threatened Peoples.

Protestors will call on the Chinese government to cease the brutal crackdown on the peaceful Uyghur protesters and to release those arrested without trial. They will urge China to engage in collaborative and peaceful dialogue with the Uyghur people.

Protestors will ask the international community to condemn the violence towards protestors and their families. They will ask the international community to put pressure on China to honour its own constitution which makes provisions for universal freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration. Further calls will be made for the international community to denounce the severe lack of transparency in China, and encourage them to call for an independent investigation into the events that took place.

The demonstration will start at the Palais de Wilson at 13h00 and progress to the Place des Nations.