WEEKLY BRIEF: 19 JUNE 2020

World Uyghur Congress, 19 June 2020

NEWS

Uyghur Human Rights Act Signed Into Law
On June 17, the Uyghur Human Rights Act was signed into law by the U.S. government. This Law marks a vital step for the Uyghur people and efforts to stop the Chinese government’s against humanity in East Turkistan.

The passing of this Act constitutes the first legislative initiative to take concrete action to end the Uyghur crisis and hold those responsible for atrocities accountable. The WUC hopes the Act stands as an example to governments around the world of the type of proactive and substantive measures necessary to bring an end to the atrocities being committed by the Chinese government in East Turkistan. We must build on the momentum generated by the passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and call on parliamentarians around the world to pass similar legislative initiatives in their own national contexts.

Mass Collection of DNA and Biometric Data
On 17 June, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) issued a new report on the collection of DNA and biometric data of Uyghurs by the Chinese authorities. This report provides new evidence on how the collection of biometric data from Uyghurs is systematically rolled out by the Chinese authorities in East Turkistan. Since 2013, the Chinese authorities have systematically collected DNA data from minority communities without any legal basis and proper informed consent. This highly complex system of biometric surveillance is based on high-definition photos, voiceprints, fingerprints, iris scans, and DNA collection. 

Solidarity with Uyghurs
In their new campaign Solidarity with Uyghurs is calling on the workers’ movement to stand up in solidarity with the Uyghur people’s struggle for freedom. In an open letter candidates in the Momentum and Open Labour elections stated that they stand “in solidarity with the Uyghur people’s battle against their repression by the Chinese state”. 

A Han Chinese’s Witness about Discrimination of Uyghurs
On 16 June, Amnesty International published the witness of a Han Chinese from East Turkistan. He talks about his personal experience on how the Uyghurs face systemic oppression, surveillance and xenophobia, and its alarming increase over the years. 

WUC Condemns with 85 other Organisations the National Security Law in Hong Kong
The WUC joins 85 other organizations in calling on the National security law in Hong Kong to be scrapped. The new law is a devastating assault on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. 

On June 13, Rahima Mahmunt, artist and head of the WUC London office, spoke at an online rally organized by Democracy by Hong Kong and Stand with Hong Kong in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the anti-extradition law protests.

32 Years Uyghur Student Protests
32 years ago, Uyghur students led peaceful demonstrations in East Turkistan for democracy and human rights. One of the leaders, current WUC President Dolkun Isa, shared his experience of the protest and what it means for the Uyghur human rights movement in an Op-Ed in The Diplomat.

WUC Celebrates Uyghur Language Day
This week on June 15, the WUC celebrated together with the Uyghur community the International Uyghur Language Day. This day seeks to shine a light on the vibrancy and the richness of the Uyghur language. On the same day RFA issued an article reporting that the Chinese authorities have launched a Mandarin-only instruction at the Kashgar Uyghur High School. For many years, the Chinese government has sought to eliminate the Uyghur culture and language. We must ensure the preservation of the Uyghur language!

PARTICIPATE

Virtual Freedom of Expression Concert
On June 20 at 11 AM EDT, Students for a Free Tibet will host a virtual concert with a diverse group of artists and engage with speakers that stand against Apple censorship, including WUC’s Program Manager, Zumretay Arkin. Interested? Find out more here!

Against Apple Censorship Conference
On June 22, Great Fire in collaboration with the Tibetan Action Institute are hosting the first ‘’Worldwide Developers Against Apple Censorship Conference’’. Join the day-long conference to discuss solutions with a panel of experts including Sophie Richardson, Xiao Qiang, Zumretay Arkin, and many more. Register now