WEEKLY BRIEF: 1 May 2020

World Uyghur Congress, 1 May 2020

Princess Hend al Qassimi Speaks up for Uyghur People
This week Princess Hend Al Qassimi spoke up for the Uyghur people in a video shared on social media. Talking to RFA on April 27, Princess Hend Al Qassimi invoked “Killing people or putting them inside these camps is not a solution. (…) We should stand together and approach the Chinese government about ending the camps.” 

WUC is thankful for Princess Hend Al Qassimi support. If we want to live in a world where all people are able to enjoy freedom of religion and where all Muslims can observe Ramadan without fear and persecution, the Muslim world must practice what it preaches and stand up for Uyghurs.

Spreading of China’s Surveillance
Amazon.com Inc. bought 1500 cameras from Chinese surveillance company Zhejiang Dahua Technology (Dahua), blacklisted by the US government, in a deal valued as almost $10 million as Reuters reported this week. These cameras, which Amazon bought to measure the temperature of its employees, have been used to surveille Uyghurs and other Turkic ethnic groups in East Turkistan. “It is unconscionable that Amazon thinks working with a company complicit in crimes against humanity is even remotely appropriate.” responded UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat in a UHRP press release. 

On April 28, CNN reported that the CCP is installing surveillance cameras outside of homes in cities around China. This was first tested on the Uyghur people to monitor and control them.

A Letter from Uyghur Activist Abdulhakim Idris to His Lost Mother
On April 28, Bitter Winter published a letter by Abdulhakim Idris, a US based human rights activist to his lost mother, who has been missing for 3 years. In his very personal and moving letter, Idris talks about the agony and pain not to know where his family members are, whether they are dead or alive, and about the cruelty of the CCP regime. Idris’ brother has been sentenced to 21 years in prison by the Chinese authorities and his sisters are detained in camps. 

Lawyers for Uyghurs
Lawyers for Uyghur Rights, activist and head of the WUC office in London Rahime Mahmut, and Enver Thoti are calling on the UK government in a letter to reconsider its 5G deal with Huawei over allegations of forced labour. According to the ASPI report Huawei is extensively involved in the high-tech surveillance system in East Turkistan by working directly with the Chinese government and providing reliable technical support. The initiative of Lawyers for Uyghur Rights is supported by the WUC. Furthermore, Lawyers for Uyghur Rights  is raising funds to challenge the British government about their decision to allow Huawei to be a part of the UK’s communication network. Please donate here!

Chinese Authorities Jail Parents of Uyghur Studying in Egypt
On 28 April, RFA reported that the parents of a young Uyghur man who left East Turkistan to study Islam in Egypt have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms by the Chinese government. They were likely targeted because of his religious education and for sending money abroad.

Global Times Attacks on WUC
This week, the CCP mouthpiece Global Times News published another article attacking the WUC and making personal insults towards members of the Uyghur diaspora. Dozens of bot accounts are sharing the story, using the same language. This is part of China’s campaign to threaten and intimidate WUC staff and activists in order to stop them from advocating for the rights and well-being of all Uyghurs suffering in East Turkistan.  

WUC PRESS RELEASE: Imprisonment of Kazakh Writer Nagyz Muhammed 
On April 29, in its press release the WUC called for urgent actions on the imprisonment of the Kazakh writer Naghyz Muhammed. He worked as a writer in Altay’s State Intangible Cultural Heritage Office in East Turkistan, and was a member of the Xinjiang Writers Association. After his last visit to Kazakhstan in March 2018, he was arrested upon his return to Urumqi. According to a source, he was charged with ‘’separatism’’ in a secret trial and sent to a ‘’re-education’’ camp. His current whereabouts and condition remain unknown. On April 27, Amnesty International launched a campaign inviting the public to write a letter addressed to Director Wang Jiang of the Prison Administration Bureau of Xinjiang. Please join this campaign here!

This month, Amnesty international started a similar campaign to ask the Procurator-General Li Yongjun to provide further details about the case of Tashpolat Tiyip, President of Xinjiang University in East Turkistan, and his whereabouts. Please join this campaign here!

Vice Interviews Uyghur Journalists of RFA
On April 27, Vice released an interview of Uyghur journalists from RFA, who are investigating the fate of Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in East Turkistan. RFA Uyghur Service is essential for the Uyghurs in the diaspora who hope to get information out, given China’s restriction on it.