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Weekly Brief, 01 September 2023

Weekly Brief, 01 September 2023


World Uyghur Congress Denounces Xi Jinping’s Intent to Continue the Uyghur Genocide
On August 28, the World Uyghur Congress published their press release condemning Xi Jinping’s recent visit to East Turkistan. The WUC calls on the international community to take all necessary steps to end the ongoing Uyghur genocide and for governments to acknowledge their responsibilities under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. 

“Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has orchestrated and implemented a policy of repression, that enables crimes against humanity as well as the ongoing genocide of our people”, said WUC President Dolkun Isa. “On Saturday, Xi Jinping admitted to the world that the active erasure of the cultural and religious identity of Uyghurs will not stop.”  

The Chinese president visited Urumchi on August 26, calling for a continuation of his regime’s genocidal policies against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples. Confirming and embracing the continuity of his repressive policies Xi stressed for “social stability” as the top priority. He furthermore mentioned the Sinicization of Islam “to effectively handle all sorts of illegal religious activities”, coercive forced labour relocations, Mandarin as the standard Chinese language and the need for more positive propaganda. 

One year after the OHCHR Report on Uyghurs, the international community is idly standing by, while China can freely continue the Uyghur genocide. Since Xi Jinping has been in power, millions of Uyghurs have been arbitrarily detained in concentration camps, and throughout East Turkistan, the Uyghur people have suffered from forced labour, coercive birth control prevention policies, family separation, mass surveillance and the destruction of cultural and religious sites. 

World Uyghur Congress Criticises UK Foreign Secretary’s Visit to China
The UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, visited Beijing this week, the first visit by a UK Foreign Secretary to China in five years. The visit has heavily been criticised by scholars and activists, including the World Uyghur Congress UK Director, Rahima Mahmut. In an Op-Ed for the Spectator, Ms Mahmut criticised Foreign Secretary Cleverly’s trip as betrayal to Uyghurs and highlighted the absence of a public critique on the Uyghur genocide. Ms Mahmut furthermore criticised the UK government’s lack of action in banning China’s mass surveillance technology and the government’s resistance against stricter import controls to tackle Uyghur Forced Labour. In her Op-Ed for the Guardian, Ms Mahmut also shined light on the widespread links between the Chinese company BGI, a genome sequencing company sanctioned by the US government for their role in the Chinese state’s abusive DNA collection of Uyghurs, and UK Universities. In a letter to the University of Edinburg, the World Uyghur Congress and Stop Uyghur Genocide wrote: “Universities are key sites for knowledge-sharing and academic freedom. Willingly partnering with companies that have facilitated repression and surveillance contradicts these core values, as well as risking the wellbeing of any Tibetan or Uyghur students”

World Uyghur Congress President Interviewed by Loop Media
On August 30, LoopMedia published the first part of an interview series with World Uyghur Congress President Dolkun Isa. The 3-part series focuses on the work and mission of the WUC, the Uyghur Genocide, the complex role of international institutions in addressing human rights violations, the complicity of global companies in Uyghur forced labour and the Gender-and Sexual violence against Uyghur women. The series gives an in depth overview on the current situation of Uyghurs in East Turkistan and the diaspora, as well as the international response to the Uyghur genocide. Furthermore, part 2 of the series offers recommendations to nation states and non-state actors. States should exert diplomatic pressure on China to address human rights abuses, seek accountability for the atrocities committed against the Uyghur community and impose targeted economic sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for the Uyghur genocide. Recommendations for non-state actors include the support of civil society to raise awareness about the Uyghur cause, academic and cultural exchanges, and using platforms to dispel misinformation, and highlight the plight of the Uyghur community. 

In addition to the series, LoopMedia also published snippets of their interview with WUC President, Dolkun Isa on social media. 

New UHRP Reasearch Sheds Light on Genocide Tours
On August 30, the Uyghur Human Rights Project released new research, which examines seven international travel companies, that offer guided tours to East Turkistan amidst China’s systematic genocide and crimes against humanity. These tours support the normalisation of the Chinese government’s genocidal policies intended to destroy the Uyghur identity, while repeating and reinforcing narratives of an “exotic” people. The primarily western travel agencies offer tours to Kashgar, Turpan, and Ürümchi. Some included travel to Kucha, Mekit, and the Tengritagh. Many of these tours furthermore provided visits to Uyghur families for tourists to experience Uyghur culture and life. 

“It is perverse that overseas visitors on organised tours should visit Uyghur homes when Uyghur families cannot host their own family members who live abroad”, writes UHRP. 

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Issued Opinions on Uyghurs
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has over the past year issued their opinions shedding light on the extent of China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples. The WGAD examined the cases of Yalkun Rozi, Qurban Mamut, Ekpar Asat, Gulshan Abbas, and Abdurashid Tohti, his wife Tajigul Qadir, and their two sons Ametjan Abdurashid and Mohamed Ali Abdurashid. The opinions determined all Uyghurs have been arbitrarily detained and are victims of enforced disappearance under international law. The WGAD discovered that no fair trial or trial at all has been offered, nor does the Chinese government have any explanation for the arrests or evidence that warrant the charges. In the case of Mr. Rozi the WGAD concludes his arrest is based on discrimination on the basis of him being Uyghur and of Muslim faith. In the case of Ekpar Asat and Gulshan Abbas the WGAD determined they were detained solely for their foreign connections. 


Help the World Uyghur Congress Establish an Uyghur Cultural-Centre
The World Uyghur Congress is raising funds to establish an Uyghur Cultural-Centre in Munich; a dedicated space where the Uyghur community and everyone interested in the Uyghur culture can come together to learn and preserve the rich Uyghur cultural heritage. With the generous support and help of the Uyghur community worldwide, we have already achieved 80% of the total amount needed to purchase the necessary facilities. Your support can help us to get the final 20%. Please donateand share!

Ask Volkswagen to Close its Plant in East Turkistan
Despite growing evidence of the ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs, Volkswagen continues to operate in East Turkistan. The World Uyghur Congress is collecting signatures to demand Volkswagen to close down its plant in Urumqi. Please sign here!

Support Uyghurs’ Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity Case in Argentina
The World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur Human Rights Project have launched a criminal case in the courts of Argentina in relation to the international crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity being committed against the Uyghur people. Please donate and be a part of this historic case.