PRESS RELEASE: WUC DEMANDS ACTION OVER UYGHUR DEATHS IN URUMCHI FIRE

Press Release – For Immediate Release
26 November 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is outraged by the lack of action from local authorities following the fire that broke out in a building in Urumchi on Thursday evening in the Tengritagh neighbourhood. 

According to media reports, the fire started on the 15th floor of an apartment building that Uyghur families prominently inhabited. The fire quickly spread to upper levels, reaching the 19th floor and killing and injuring dozens of people, including children. Among those who died were a family of three: the mother, Qemernisahan Abdurahman and her children, Nehdiye and Imran. The father, Eli Memetniyaz and their older son, Eliyas Eli are both serving twelve and ten years prison sentences, respectively.

According to local residents, firefighters arrived three hours after the fire began to extinguish the flames, despite their close proximity to the building.    

‘’The Uyghur community is extremely distressed after hearing the horrific news of numerous families losing their lives in the fire,’’ said WUC President, Dolkun Isa. ‘’The fact is that the Chinese government has absolutely no mercy and the local authorities are completely ignoring the needs and demands of the Uyghur people, therefore they have not promptly acted to extinguish the blaze. This callous disregard for Uyghur lives is characteristic of the Chinese regime which has utilized Covid lockdowns as a tool to continue their genocide of Uyghurs.’’

Videos filmed by residents have circulated on Chinese social media. Netizens are increasingly expressing their anger online at the failure of the authorities to respond to the fire on time and effectively. The ongoing harsh COVID-19 restrictions imposed in East Turkistan, including complete lockdowns, might have also hindered the rescue process beyond the initial slow response, as residents were not allowed to leave their houses. The barricades and bolted doors have been installed by local authorities, supposedly in an attempt to prevent people suspected of being exposed to the virus from leaving their homes.

Since yesterday, protests have started in the capital city of Urumchi, where Chinese residents can be heard chanting ‘’we are human beings’’, ‘’stop the lockdown’’  and other slogans. 

Since August, Uyghurs in East Turkistan have endured these lockdowns without access to food or medical care. Social media accounts have been flooded with videos of people dying due to complete neglect from the authorities, and total disregard for Uyghur’s suffering.

All of these atrocities come as Xi Jinping has secured his third term in power, indicating that the genocidal policies in East Turkistan will likely continue. 

The World Uyghur Congress calls for the immediate attention of the international community to act and hold the Chinese government accountable for its complete abdication of responsibility and disregard for Uyghur lives. The WUC also calls on the Chinese government to repeal the extreme COVID-related lockdown measures.

Finally, the WUC pays homage to the victims who have lost their lives in the fire and extends its sincere condolences to the family members of those who perished who are living abroad. 

 

 

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Weekly Brief, 25 November 2022

NEWS

WUC Delegation Travels to Australia
This week, a World Uyghur Congress (WUC) delegation led by WUC President Dolkun Isa, as well as two camp survivors, travelled to Australia. In Canberra, together with Amnesty International Australia, they met with 15 Members of Parliament, the Foreign Ministry, civil society, journalists and Uyghur representatives, to press the federal government to officially recognise Uyghurs as victims of genocide and help ramp up international pressure on China.

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Open Call from Civil Society for Access to EU Customs Trade Information

To: Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni 

CC: 
Executive Vice-President European Green Deal Frans Timmermans;
Executive Vice-President A Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager;
Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton; 
Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders; 
Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius;
Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis; 
Member of the European Parliament Anna Cavazzini, chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO); 
Member of the European Parliament Monika Hohlmeier, chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control; 
Member of the European Parliament Bernd Lange, chair of the Committee on International Trade; Member of the European Parliament Maria Arena, chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights;
Member of the European Parliament Adrián Vázquez Lázara, chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs; Director General Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) Gerassimos Thomas. 

16th November, 2022 

Subject: Reforming the Union customs legislation to allow non-state actors to access customs trade information 

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PRESS RELEASE: THE WUC SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDES THE INTERNATIONAL UYGHUR FORUM

Press Release – For immediate release
11 November 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) successfully concluded the International Uyghur Forum, co-organized by Hasene International and the International Union of East Turkistan Organizations (IUETO), from November 9-10, in Brussels.

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PRESS RELEASE: WUC TO HOLD International Uyghur Forum to be Held in Brussels, Belgium

Press Release – For immediate release
08 November 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), HASENE International, International Union of East Turkistan Organizations, with the co-sponsorship of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV), CCJO René Cassin, FAIR International, and the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) are organising a high-level International Uyghur Forum on 9-10 November in Brussels, Belgium. The Forum will bring together over 200 participants from all over the world, including prominent experts in policy, ecomics, civil society, media, academia and the legal field, as well as Uyghur and civil society representatives.

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WORLD UYGHUR CONGRESS IS HIRING

 

INTRODUCTION

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is an international umbrella organization that represents the collective interest of the Uyghur people both in East Turkistan and abroad and promotes Uyghur human rights, freedom and a peaceful and non-violent solution based on rule of law. The WUC carries out advocacy work in international institutions, including the EU institutions, the United Nations and other multilateral bodies as well as in national parliaments around the world. 

Our mission is to advance human rights for the people of East Turkistan. To achieve this goal, we work with governments, parliaments, policymakers, journalists, international organisations and Uyghur groups around the world. 

FULL-TIME POSITION

Application Deadline: November 15, 2022

Starting Date: November 2022

Location: Munich (Germany)

POSITION

The WUC is currently looking for a full-time Parliamentary Coordinator.

PRIMARY TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES  

  • Networking with international actors, including government officials, members of parliament, civil society representatives, and faith-based communities;
  • Liaising with national parliaments globally on regular basis;
  • Establishing the Uyghur Friendship Group in parliaments;
  • Presenting Uyghur Tribunal’s findings and parliamentary resolutions on the Uyghur genocide;
  • Developing and implementing advocacy projects to mobilize action by governments, multilateral bodies, parliaments and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Representing the WUC at meetings, external events, and delivery of presentations and speeches;
  • Writing press releases and official statements as well as background documents and material;
  • Preparing submissions for international institutions;
  • Drafting parliamentary questions and resolutions to submit to parliamentarians.

PROFILE OF THE CANDIDATE

  • Minimum three (3) years of experience in human rights advocacy (or related advocacy) required;
  • University or post-graduate level studies related to Political Sciences, International Relations, Law, and Human Rights are preferable;
  • Knowledge of the European Institutions and international human rights mechanisms is required;
  • Fluency in English is required; other languages (especially French, Chinese, and Uyghur) are an asset;
  • Excellent organisational, analytical and communication skills;
  • Ability to work within tight deadlines;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively with all levels of staff within the organization and autonomously are required.
  • Experience in advocacy and lobbying is an advantage;
  • Availability to travel occasionally;
  • Good knowledge of social media, and other digital platforms;
  • A commitment to promote human rights for the Uyghur people;
  • Willingness to work longer hours depending on the demand is necessary;
  • Knowledge of the Uyghur human rights situation and/or human rights in China would be an advantage.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • Full-time position 

APPLICATION

Qualified candidates should submit, only via email (mail subject: “Application Parliamentary Coordinator – Munich”), a cover letter and CV in English to: [email protected], and [email protected] by November 15, 2022, at the latest. The start date is as soon as possible. The WUC will cover all expenses and other similar costs associated with the position.

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Press Release: Human Rights Organisations Criticising Scholz Trip to China

Press Release – For immediate release
04 November 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

English:

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), the Tibet Initiative Germany (TID), Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. and the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) expressed their criticism of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s trip to China on Friday. At the press conference of Scholz and China’s Premier Li Keqiang, the journalists present were not given any opportunity to ask questions.

 “We had already criticized in our letter to the Chancellor that he had failed to coordinate with his European partners, instead flying to Beijing almost immediately after Xi Jinping’s coronation. Had he still waited to coordinate with his partners and gone together with them, this would have been an important signal to Beijing that Germany was moving away from its focus on bilateral relations. China’s leadership can now continue with its policy of focusing on bilateral relations with other countries. Europe needs to be more united, especially on human rights issues. Here, Scholz could have sent an important signal, and the chancellor failed to do so,” said Hanno Schedler, STP expert on genocide prevention and responsibility to protect.

Already in the run-up to the China trip, criticism was voiced that the delegation accompanying Scholz during his meeting with Xi Jinping included only business representatives and no human rights experts. Even during the press conference, the topic of human rights was only briefly touched upon. “It is extremely disappointing to state that the genocide of the Uyghurs is due to a different understanding of human rights. Germany must now act together with its international partners to hold the Chinese government accountable,” said Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress. 

The Chancellor’s statement did not mention human rights violations in Tibet or Hong Kong. “It is disappointing that the Chancellor did not take the opportunity in his public statement to speak up for human rights and democracy defenders. Staying in dialogue with China on human rights crimes is not enough. Over 800,000 Tibetan children sit in colonial boarding schools where they are re-educated to be obedient Han Chinese* and Tibetan identity is erased,” said Tenzyn Zöchbauer, Executive Director of the Tibet Initiative Germany (TID).

Amy Siu, Secretary General of Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. commented, “We are also extremely disappointed that the Chancellor has not spoken out on Hong Kong. Human rights violations in Hong Kong and other regions must finally be followed by concrete consequences. ‘Staying in the conversation’ allows the Chinese government to avoid the consequences of its actions.”

The organizations demanded that the German government’s soon-to-be-released China strategy must include a shift from a German to a European China policy that places a stronger focus on human rights. Chancellor Olaf Scholz must meet in the coming weeks with representatives of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and the Chinese democracy movement who have fled to Germany because of the persecution.

Contact:

Tenzyn Zöchbauer, [email protected], 0151 2502 1295
Hanno Schedler, [email protected], 0551-49906-15
Amy Siu, [email protected], 07723-8739633
Gheyyur Kuerban, [email protected],  0176 805693


Deutsch:

Der Weltkongress der Uiguren (WUC), die Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TID), Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. und die Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) haben sich am Freitag kritisch zur China-Reise von Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz geäußert. Bei der Pressekonferenz von Scholz und Chinas Premierminister Li Keqiang hatten die anwesenden Journalistinnen und Journalisten keine Gelegenheit, Fragen zu stellen. „Bereits in unserem Brief an den Bundeskanzler hatten wir kritisiert, dass er es versäumt hat, sich mit seinen europäischen Partnern abzustimmen, anstatt fast direkt nach der Krönung Xi Jinpings nach Peking zu fliegen. Abgestimmt mit ihnen zu fahren, hätte das Peking signalisiert, dass Deutschland sich von seinem Fokus auf bilaterale Beziehungen löst. Chinas Führung kann weiter nach dem Prinzip ‚teile und herrsche‘ in der EU agieren. Dabei müsste Europa gerade in Menschenrechtsfragen geeinter auftreten. Hier hätte Scholz ein wichtiges Signal setzen können, und das hat der Kanzler versäumt”, sagte Hanno Schedler, GfbV-Referent für Genozidprävention und Schutzverantwortung am heutigen Freitag in Göttingen.

Im Vorfeld der Chinareise wurde bereits kritisiert, dass Scholz zu seinem Treffen mit Xi Jinping ausschließlich Wirtschaftsdelegierte mitgenommen hat. Die Zivilgesellschaft musste zu Hause bleiben. Auch während der Pressekonferenz wurde das Thema der Menschenrechte nur kurz angeschnitten. „Den Genozid an den Uigur*innen als unterschiedliche Auffassung von Menschenrechten abzutun ist äußerst enttäuschend. Deutschland muss nun mit seinen internationalen Partnern Maßnahmen ergreifen, um die chinesische Regierung zur Verantwortung zu ziehen“, so Dolkun Isa, Präsident des Weltkongresses der Uiguren.

Im Statement des Bundeskanzlers kamen weder die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Tibet, noch in Hongkong zur Sprache. „Es ist eine Enttäuschung, dass der Kanzler in seinem öffentlichen Statement nicht die Chance genutzt hat, sich für Menschenrechts- und Demokratieengagierte stark zu machen. Zu Menschenrechtsverbrechen mit China im Gespräch zu bleiben ist zu wenig. Über 800.000 tibetische Kinder sitzen in kolonialen Internaten, in denen sie zu folgsamen Han umerzogen werden, damit die tibetische Identität ausgelöscht wird”, sagte Tenzyn Zöchbauer, Geschäftsführerin der Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TID).

Amy Siu, Generalsekretärin von Freiheit für Hongkong e.V. sagte dazu, „Wir sind zudem überaus enttäuscht, dass der Kanzler sich nicht zu Hongkong geäußert hat. Auf die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Hongkong und anderen Regionen müssen endlich konkrete Konsequenzen folgen. ‚Im Gespräch [zu] bleiben‘ erlaubt der chinesischen Regierung, sich der Konsequenzen ihres Handelns zu entziehen.”

Die Organisationen forderten, dass die bald erscheinende China-Strategie der Bundesregierung eine Verlagerung der deutschen zu einer europäischen China-Politik beinhalten muss, welche einen stärkeren Fokus auf Menschenrechte legt. Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz muss sich in den kommenden Wochen mit Vertreter*innen von Uigur*innen, Tibeter*innen, Hongkonger*innen und der chinesischen Demokratiebewegung treffen, die wegen der Verfolgung durch die Kommunistische Partei nach Deutschland geflüchtet sind.

Kontakt:

Tenzyn Zöchbauer, [email protected], 0151 2502 1295
Hanno Schedler, [email protected], 0551-49906-15
Amy Siu, [email protected], 07723-8739633
Gheyyur Kuerban, [email protected],  0176 805693

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