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Weekly Brief, 19 April

Weekly Brief, 19 April

NEWS

Disrupting Uyghur Genocide Conference Starts in New York City
On April 16, the joint conference “Disrupting Uyghur Genocide” organised by the World Uyghur Congress, the Uyghur Human Rights Project, and the Elie Wiesel Foundation commenced in New York City with a gallery reception on Uyghur forced labour in the Chelsea art district. The exhibition featured six art installations exposing corporations that profit from Uyghur forced labour. World Uyghur Congress UK-Director, Rahima Mahmut performed during the exhibition and Uyghur camp survivor, Zumrat Dawut gave a testimony of her experience inside China’s concentration camps.

From April 17-18, the conference gathered religious authorities, government officials, business leaders, Uyghur speakers, and other activists for the largest interfaith conference in the United States addressing the Uyghur genocide. On the first day of the conference, speakers reflected on the lessons learned from the Holocaust and called on the international community to ensure that the human rights violations and genocide against the Uyghur people come to an end. Rahima Mahmut, UK-Director of the WUC, stated during her speech at the conference: “I believe the reason that the Chinese government relentlessly targets our language and culture is because they want to destroy us—our spirit, our soul.” During the start of the second day the plight of Uyghur camp survivors and Uyghur women facing gender-based violence was highlighted, and the day closed with an interfaith discussion on how to support survivors and end complicity in atrocities.

World Uyghur Congress Calls on German Chancellor to Prioritise Uyghur Human Rights
On April 17, the German newspaper Tagesspiegel highlighted the call of World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa, regarding Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s upcoming trip to China. Mr. Isa expressed scepticism, and urged Scholz to prioritise human rights over economic interests, presenting four key demands for Scholz’s discussions with Chinese leader Xi Jinping: the immediate end of the Uyghur genocide, the release of detained individuals, protection of cultural identity, and adherence to UN business and human rights guidelines. He furthermore criticised Germany’s perceived passive response to Chinese repression within Germany and called for stronger action to protect targeted groups, including Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hongkongers. Regarding German companies operating in East Turkistan, Mr. Isa recommended for Volkswagen to follow BASF’s example and withdraw operations to avoid complicity in human rights violations.

Foreign Journalists in China Subject to Surveillance and Social Media Monitoring
The annual working conditions survey conducted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China reveals alarming trends in the treatment of foreign journalists in China, who are being monitored and tracked by drones, encounter detention, harassment, and threats of non-renewal of work permits. 85% of journalists who work in areas deemed “sensitive” to the Chinese government, such as East Turkistan experienced being followed in cars. Moreover, experts and interviewees are hesitant to speak to foreign media, fearing reprisals from authorities.

Civil Society Organisations call on the European Parliament to adopt EU Forced Labour Regulation
On April 18, the World Uyghur Congress joined 76 civil society organisations, trade unions,  investors, businesses, multi- stakeholders’ initiatives and industry bodies calling on Members of the European Parliament to vote in favour of the forced labour regulation in the upcoming April plenary session. Once signed into law, the regulation will increase the EU’s capacity to ban products made from forced labour inside and outside the EU, including Uyghur forced labour. 

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The WUC is Hiring
The WUC is seeking an excellent candidate to join our dynamic team in the permanent position of Administrative Officer. Find more information on how to apply here.

Help the World Uyghur Congress to Continue Its Operations
As Ramadan comes to an end, the World Uyghur Congress calls for global solidarity. Your donation can help sustain our advocacy and support Uyghur individuals worldwide. Join us in our crucial efforts to make a difference. To donate and stand with us in solidarity, please visit this link. 

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.