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Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Affiliate Organisation UZDM Launches Toolkit For Uyghur Activists on Transnational Repression

Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Affiliate Organisation UZDM Launches Toolkit For Uyghur Activists on Transnational Repression

Press Release – For Immediate Release
08 August 2023
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

On August 5, the WUC’s affiliate organisation Uigurisches Zentrum für Demokratie und Menschenrechte (UZDM) successfully launched the toolkit ‘Raise Your Voice: A Toolkit for Uyghur Activists – Best Practices Against China’s Transnational Repression’ during the biannual meeting of 115 delegates of the World Uyghur Congress.

‘’China is no longer shying away from threatening and attempting to silence Uyghur activists. Transnational repression has long been overlooked as a tool of repression by the international community, including by our own community,’’ said UZDM President Zumretay Arkin. ‘’This toolkit aims to educate our diaspora community of some of the risks that they might be exposing themselves to as activists, but most importantly to give them clear solutions where they exist.’’

The UZDM together with an independent researcher worked for six months to create the toolkit based on the risk assessments of the specific concerns and needs of Uyghur activists in the diaspora community. This was done by conducting interviews with the European Uyghur diaspora and global civil society organisations. The toolkit was illustrated by the notable Uyghur artist and designer Yette Su. It is specifically designed for Uyghur human rights activists and aims to provide best practices on how Uyghur human rights defenders and members of the diaspora can safely and effectively conduct their advocacy and activism against the Chinese government’s human rights abuses and ongoing genocide. It details the methods used by China to silence, ostracise, intimidate, harass and threaten Uyghurs globally, while also exploring the impacts of transnational repression on Uyghurs, with a special focus on mental health. 

As per the China Report of Freedom House that was published in 2021, “China’s party-state apparatus conducts the most sophisticated, widespread and comprehensive campaign of transnational repression in the world.” Transnational repression is an increasing threat to the lives of Uyghurs globally, and reaches far beyond China’s national borders, impacting families back home, the Uyghur community and the mental well-being of Uyghurs living abroad. Furthermore, transnational repression violates domestic and international law, including China’s domestic law on freedom of speech. Thus, the toolkit includes various policy recommendations for countries, civil society groups, international organisations and technology companies on effectively supporting Uyghur human rights defenders. The recommendations can also be used by Uyghurs themselves in their advocacy or awareness raising.

During the launch, which was attended by 115 Uyghur delegates, executives, UZDM and partner organisations, the independent researcher presented a detailed overview of the creation and use of the toolkit, highlighting key outcomes and best practices. 

The Toolkit can be read and downloaded in full here.