WEEKLY BRIEF: 10 JULY 2020

World Uyghur Congress, 10 July 2020

NEWS

Call for UK phone companies to review Huawei ties with human rights violations
Representing two British Uyghur activists (Rahima Mahmut and Enver Tohti), Lawyers for Uyghur Rights, a group championing Uyghur rights in East Turkistan, wrote a letter to seven big UK telecoms. The group requested more information on their involvement with Huawei.

According to lawyers and ASPI there is evidence that proves that Huawei is connected to the systematic human rights abuses, surveillance, forced labor of more than a million of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in East Turkistan.

UK Government Considers Termination of Huawei Contract
WUC welcomes the UK government’s consideration of contract termination with Huawei. As a reaction to the National Cyber Security Centre statement that it is not able to guarantee the safety of Chinese companies’ products, the UK government is reconsidering its decision. However, Michael Polak from Laywers for Uyghur Rights urged the UK government to “take a strong stand on the systematic oppression of the Uyghurs and other Turkic people”. He also requested a promise from the government to forbid Huawei an entrance to the UK market.

Despite clear evidence of the company using products in its supply chain made by Uyghur forced labor, the Huawei Vice President denied all the facts and mentioned his plans to work in London and Washington.

Lacoste pledged to stop using Uyghur forced labor in its supply chain
WUC sends its gratitude to Rafael Gluksmann, who started a campaign that directs 83 companies linked to using Uyghur forced labor. As a result, global brands Adidas and Lacoste became the first two companies to take a pledge in not using Uyghur forced labour in their supply chain.

Call for sanctioning Chinese officials in UK
On July 7, the UK government imposed strict sanctions on human rights abusers in countries like Russia and China. These sanctions include freezing assets and travel bans. Some British MPs called to include Chinese officials responsible for detaining Uyghurs and oppressing Hong Kongers.

Jewish World Watch Article “Genocide Alert”
Last week two reports by Adrian Zenz, one of the world’s leading scholars onChina, and Associated Press revealed that thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities were forcibly sterilized, aborted, and fined for having “too many children” leading to 60% decrease in birth rates among them. According to an article by Jewish World Watch, “(t)hese widespread, rights-effacing population control measures take the matter one step further, invoking the possibility that not just cultural but full-blown genocide is underway”. 

as the Karakax list elucidated, the Chinese government systematically targets the younger generation between 20 and 40 years, and detains women for ‘’having too many children’’ in internment camps.  

Commemoration of the 11th Anniversary of the Urumqi Massacre in East Turkistan
In commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the Urumqi massacre in East Turkistan, the East Turkistan Union in Europe held a rally in Munich on July 4. During the Urumqi Massacre in 2009, thousands of Uyghurs were met with a brutal crackdown from the authorities for demanding justice. WUC President Dolkun Isa, German MP Margarete Bause, Bavarian State Parliamentarian Markus Rinderspacher, Director of Gfb, Ulrich Delius spoke all at the protest. 

On July 5, Hong Kong Free Press published an opinion piece written byof Zumretay Arkin, WUC Project and Advocacy Manager, who visited East Turkistan in July 2009 after the Urumqi massacre started. In her Op-Ed, she highlights the heavy political atmosphere during the summer of 2009, and how Uyghur felt powerless against the systemic racism they continued to face.   She was treated as a second class citizen in her own hometown. Ms. Arkin calledon the international community to stand up for Uyghurs:‘’the ‘it’s none of my business’ attitude is woefully out of date.”

Australian University teaching pro Chinese class
On July 3, news.com.au reported that the Australian University of Queensland has been promoting Chinese propaganda in its economic classes, where they classified Uyghurs as “terrorists” linked to ISIS despite the lack of evidence to support such claims. The University of Queensland course extended its relationship with the Confucius Institute which represents the long arm of the Chinese government for five more years at the end of 2019. Furthermore, classes at this University have been directly financed by the Confucius Institute.

US government Imposes sanctions on Chinese Officials
On July 10, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned one Chinese government entity, as well as four government officials involved in human rights violations against the Uyghur people in East Turkistan. The sanctioned entity is the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB), and the officials are Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party Secretary of the Uyghur region, Zhu Hailun, a former Deputy Party Secretary of the region, Wang Mingshan, the current Director and Communist Party Secretary of the XPSB, and, Huo Liujun, the former Party Secretary of the XPSB. The World Uyghur Congress welcomes this decision and hopes this will incite other States to hold Chinese officials responsible for the ongoing genocide faced by the Uyghur people in East Turkistan.

WUC Joins Against Apple Censorship Campaign by Tibetan groups
On July 9, a video of Tibetan and Uyghur activists was projected on the wall of an Apple store in London and on the Chinese embassy. This is part of the Against Apple Censorship campaign, in which the WUC is involved in along with The International Tibet Network, Students for a Free Tibet, Sum Of Us, Tibet Action Institute and Free Tibet.