From Systematic Assimilation to Cultural Genocide: July 5, 2009 as a turning point in China’s repression of Uyghurs
10am – 12pm EDT (GMT-5)
Thursday, July 2, 2020
July 5, 2009 was one of the most defining and tragic days in modern Uyghur history. On that day, university students took to the streets of Ürümchi to demand justice for Uyghurs murdered in Shaoguan, Guangdong, in a racially motivated attack the previous month. At some point, bystander interference and police intervention turned the demonstration into a bloody incident followed by days of revenge killings and unrest. Official Chinese state media reported that 198 “mostly Han” people died. Eyewitness accounts, however, told another story: one of brutality as the police opened fire on demonstrators, beat civilians in the streets, and disappeared Uyghurs by the thousands over the months that followed.
This event, co-hosted by the World Uyghur Congress and Uyghur Human Rights Project, will commemorate the 11th anniversary of the Ürümchi unrest. A group of distinguished speakers will reflect on how the events of July 5, 2009 marked a turning point in Chinese government policy toward the Uyghurs, paving the way for the Chinese state to move from systematic assimilation to an ongoing campaign of cultural genocide.
The event will take place as a moderated roundtable discussion in Q&A format. Audience members will be able to submit questions to the speakers throughout the event.
Dr. Elise Anderson, Senior Program Officer for Research and Advocacy, Uyghur Human Rights Project
Dr. Adrian Zenz, Fellow, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
Dr. Timothy Grose, Associate Professor of China Studies, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Ms. Ursula Gauthier, Journalist and Sinologist
Dr. Rian Thum, Senior Research Fellow, University of Nottingham
Dr. Sophie Richardson, China Director, Human Rights Watch