WEEKLY BRIEF: 08 OCTOBER 2021
Uyghur Groups Worldwide Protest on October 1 and 2 to Denounce 72 Years of Colonization and Brutal Repression
On the 1st of October, on the occasion of the National Day of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) commemorated this as a day signifying more than 70 years of oppression.
For Uyghurs, Tibetans, Southern Mongolians, and others as well, the establishment of the PRC set the stage for the gradual erosion of their rights and freedoms. To commemorate these events and to demand an end to China’s atrocious human rights crimes, the WUC (co-)organized protests in various cities in Europe (Berlin, Munich, London, and Paris). These protest actions, which were organized in cooperation with other representative groups, drew thousands of supporters that called out China’s heinous crimes. In Paris, on October 2nd, the protest saw the participation of hundreds of European youth who had travelled from various cities and countries as well as public figures like Member of European Parliament (MEP) Raphael Glucksmann and actress Lucie Lucas.
Chinese Whistleblower Speak Out About Systematic Torture of Uyghurs in Detention
On October 5th, CNN published an interview with a former Chinese police man, who detailed the serious human rights abuses and systematic torture of Uyghurs detained in East Turkistan. This confession of the whisteblower is significant, as he’s the first person actively involved in the Uyghur Genocide to publicly speak out. He said armed police officers attacked Uyghur houses belonging at midnight. Detainees were pulled out of the house, handcuffed, and hooded. Police officers threatened to shoot them if they showed resistance. “Kick them, beat them (until they’re) bruised and swollen,” the whistleblower said, recalling how he and his colleagues used to interrogate detainees in police detention centers. “Until they kneel on the floor crying.”
Erkin Tuniyaz Appointed as the new Governor of East Turkistan
On October 1st, the Independent reported that China has appointed Erkin Tuniyaz as East Turkistan’s new governor, replacing Shohrat Zakir. Tuniyaz, 59, is an ethnic Uyghur who studied economics and law and has held various positions in East Turkistan. He is further known for his vociferous defence of Beijing’s policies and its genocidal policies against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan. In a video address to the UN in February, Tuniyaz said “all trainees of these [detention] facilities had graduated” by October 2019 and now had “stable jobs and are living a normal life”. Such spurious claims have been consistently refuted by independent evidence, however.
Rights Groups and Advocates Push for the Release of Disappeared Uyghur Professors
On October 6, Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) published the details of three cases of persecuted professors from East Turkistan that it said “underscore how Beijing is trying to disappear and silence the leading Uyghur minds.” The cases of three Uyghur professors (Gheyratjan Osman, Qeyum Muhammad, and Tursunjan Nurmamat) are exemplary of how China is cracking down on the people most important to keep alive and transmit the Uyghur culture. Echoing consistent calls from the WUC and others, CHRD urged the international community to take strong action to address these crimes by the Chinese government.
Allianz Protest in Munich
On October 4th, the WUC, in cooperation with various other organizations, organized a protest as part of the #NoBeijing2022 campaign. Uyghurs, Tibetans, HongKongers and others united to call on Allianz to end its sponsorship of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. A delegation including camp survivor, Kelbinur Sidiq, and former Tibetan political prisoner, Golog Jigme, delivered a letter to Allianz representatives.