Nonviolent Radical Party Discusses Uyghurs´ Plight at the 17th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Press release – for immediate release
17 June 2011
Marco Perduca, Tel:(+39) 06 689791
Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty

In 15 June 2011, Jana Brandt, on behalf of the Nonviolent Radical Party (NRP), delivered a statement on item 4 (“Human rights situations that require the attention of the Council”) at the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), Geneva. In the statement, the NRP drew the Council´s attention to the upcoming 2nd anniversary of the 5 July 2009 events in Urumqi, East Turkestan, China.

Video of the intervention:


On 5 July 2009, Uyghurs in Urumqi 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.

In its statement, the NRP condemned the Chinese authorities´ inaction and refusal to reveal the real circumstances of these tragic events and called upon the Human Rights Council to press for an independent investigation. Despite international calls, the Chinese authorities have not allowed an impartial investigation into the incident and the number of people killed, detained, imprisoned, executed and disappeared remains unclear. The NRP also expressed its concern that the root causes of the protests, namely, the crackdown on Uyghur culture, identity, freedom of expression and religion, as well as the ongoing economic discrimination, have not yet been addressed.

NRP is convinced that as long as the Chinese government keeps hiding behind a false rhetoric of social harmony and ignoring the real problems and challenges in the country, the situation in China will remain tense and unavoidably lead to new social tensions, as seen recently in Inner Mongolia.

In addition, the NRP condemned the recent extraditions of the Uyghur refugee Ershidin Israel, and of at least 28 ethnic Uzbeks from Kazakhstan to China and Uzbekistan respectively. NRP said it was extremely worried about the deepening collaboration between Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states whose dismal domestic human rights record and disregard for the rights of refugees represent a blow against human rights in the region.

Both China and Uzbekistan are notorious for torture and other forms of ill-treatment and Kazakhstan therefore violated two of its most binding commitments under international law, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture which both prohibit the return of an individual to a country where he or she faces a credible risk of torture. Since their extradition, the whereabouts, legal status and well-being of these people are unknown. The NRP called on the Human Rights Council to take legal action against Kazakhstan and demands that the SCO account for the human rights impact of its practices such as, but not limited to, denials of asylum and forcible return of asylum seekers.

The full statement can be downloaded here.

The NRP, in collaboration with the World Uyghur Congress, submitted a written statement on item 4 entitled “Second anniversary of the 5 July 2009 events in Urumqi, regional capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), People’s Republic of China: Two years of impunity”. The statement can be downloaded here.