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Weekly Brief, 11 March 2022

Weekly Brief, 11 March 2022
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Rights Groups Urge UN Rights Chief to Release Report on Uyghur Human Rights, Call for Unfettered Access to East Turkistan
On March 8th, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) joined almost 200 human rights groups in an open letter urging the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to swiftly release her office’s report on Chinese government rights violations targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic people in East Turkistan.

On the same day, the High Commissioner announced she reached an agreement with China on a visit to East Turkistan, in May. ”The visit is a very unexpected announcement, given that the High Commissioner hasn’t said anything substantial on the upcoming report. This visit is crucial, but it can only be useful if her office receives unfettered access”, WUC President, Dolkun Isa, said in a statement.

On International Women’s Day, WUC Calls Attention to the Plight of Uyghur Women 
On March 7th, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the World Uyghur Congress, together with the Uyghur Human Rights Project, hosted an online panel discussion on the targeted oppression of women in East Turkistan. Moderated by WUC’s Program and Advocacy Manager, Zumretay Arkin, panellists Sophie Richardson (Human Rights Watch China Director), Andrea Worden (writer and rights activist), and Rahima Mahmut (WUC’s UK Director) highlighted the extreme bravery and resiliency of Uyghur women and discussed how these women can be best supported. Furthermore, on March 6th, the WUC hosted the Uyghur Event: Sherqiy Turkistan Ayallirining Rohi [The spirit of the women of East Turkistan] with Uyghur camp survivors and experts.

WUC Stands in Solidarity with Tibetan People on Tibetan National Uprising Day
On March 10th, on the 63rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) stood in solidarity and friendship with the Tibetan people. On March 10, 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of Tibet’s capital Lhasa to rise up against China’s illegal invasion and occupation of their homeland. The uprising was ultimately violently quashed by Chinese forces and was followed by a brutal crackdown on the Tibetan people and the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile. “Uyghurs stand with the Tibetan people in their struggle to be free from China’s violent colonial rule”, WUC President Dolkun Isa said. 

China Intensifies Crackdown on Uyghur Culture and Language
On March 3rd, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that the Chinese government announced to shut down more than 150 organisations in East Turkistan that are focused on research and understanding of the Uyghur culture and language. On March 11th, RFA further reported that Chinese leader Xi Jinping aims to promote “cultural nourishment” of the Uyghur people by imposing the Han Chinese culture on Uyghurs. Both the closure of Uyghur cultural organisations and the promotion of “cultural nourishment” have been scrutinised as increasing attempts by China to eradicate the Uyghur culture.


Capacity Building Training for Uyghur Youth Activists in Bursa, Turkey
The WUC is inviting Uyghur youth activists to participate in its upcoming capacity building training from March 25-27, 2022 in Bursa, Turkey. The workshop aims to educate young Uyghurs on topics such as the history of the WUC, international human rights advocacy, grassroots campaigning and effective use of social media and press. The workshop will also incorporate a case study on Uyghur forced labour to demonstrate to the participants the success of strategic, cross-movement coalition-building work. More info and application here

Training Seminar on Forced Organ Harvesting in China
The WUC is proud to support the End Transplant Abuse in China’s (ETAC) training seminar on forced organ harvesting in China. The seminar is open to Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other groups from East Turkistan in the diaspora, and available in different time zones on March 27, 28 and April 1st. Participants will be taught about the body of evidence and how to conduct rights advocacy. More info and registration here.