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Weekly Brief, 22 September

Weekly Brief, 22 September

NEWS

World Uyghur Congress Criticises Elon Musk’s Statement on Uyghur Genocide
On September 15, the WUC issued a public statement condemning Elon Musk’s assertion on the Uyghur genocide. According to the recent book of American author and journalist, Walter Isaacson, Musk stated in a conversation with former New York Times journalist, Bari Weiss, “that Twitter would indeed have to be careful about the words it used regarding China, because Tesla’s business could be threatened.” China’s repression of the Uyghurs, he said, had “two sides”.

In response to Musk echoing the Chinese propaganda narrative, World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa, said: “There is only one side to the repressive policies, and it is that China is committing a genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples”. “China has continuously tried to hide the truth from the world by using its economic power to lure countries and companies into being complicit. The CCP is known for spreading its propaganda and Musk chooses to reproduce this for his own economic benefit.”

Civil Society Organisations Issue Joint Letter on EU Regulation to Ban Forced Labour Products
On September 12, the World Uyghur Congress undersigned a joint letter addressing essential elements necessary to make the EU regulation to ban forced labour products (COM(2022) 453) efficient, implementable and above all, impactful to address forced labour meaningfully. The EU law “prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market” has the possibility to impact the lives of workers globally, including Uyghurs, who are subjected to Chinese state-imposed forced labour. In East Turkistan the Chinese government is using forced labour as a means of social control, with forced labour being present at virtually any workplace, industrial or agricultural. 

The Regulation to ban forced labour products within the EU, creates bridges with the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), which is currently within the final agreement stage in a trilogue between the European Commission, EU Parliament and EU Council. 

World Uyghur Congress UK Director Organises Joint Protest Against China’s National Day
On September 17, the World Uyghur Congress UK Director, Rahima Mahmut, together with Tibetans and Hong Kongers, organised a joint protest outside the Inter Continental Hotel in London, where the Chinese Embassy was hosting their 74th anniversary celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The coalition stressed during their protest, that there can be no true celebration amid genocide and dictatorship, calling for the end of the human rights violations against the people from East Turkistan, Tibet and Hong Kong. 

In 1949 the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops marched into the then Republic of East Turkistan, starting the colonial occupation that is still ongoing. Setting the stage for the gradual erosion of the Uyghurs rights and freedoms.

World Uyghur Congress President Writes Op-Ed on Uyghur Genocide
On September 15, the World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa and the President of the Uyghur Association of Switzerland, Rizwana Ilham, wrote an Op-Ed for the Swiss Paper, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, on the Uyghur Genocide and Beijing’s extensive propaganda to keep it a secret. The Op-Ed is a response to German sinologists Thomas Heberer and Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer downplaying the Chinese government’s genocide against Uyghurs, a week prior. WUC President Dolkun Isa and President of the Uyghur Association of Switzerland, Rizwana Ilham, discuss the impact of the Chinese government’s genocidal policies on both Uyghurs living in East Turkistan and abroad. Since the beginning of the mass incarceration campaign, millions of Uyghurs, including intellectuals and religious influencers were tortured, brainwashed and disappeared inside the vast system of concentration camps. Moreover, since 2017 the Uyghur population of East Turkistan has dramatically decreased as a result of forced sterilisation and abortion measures by the Chinese Communist Party. The Op-Ed furthermore, addressed China’s transnational repression, targeting Uyghurs abroad, in an attempt to silence activists and human rights defenders. 

World Uyghur Congress Attends Annual Meeting of Association of Ethical Shareholders
On September 16, the World Uyghur Congress attended the annual meeting of the Association of Ethical Shareholders (Kritische Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre) which took place in Cologne, Germany. During the annual meeting the German Supply Chain Act (Lieferkettengesetz) and its concrete implementation were discussed. 

On the second day, WUC Berlin Office Director, Haiyuer Kuerban, reported on the Chinese government’s decades of repression against Uyghurs, and on Volkswagen profiting from Uyghur Forced Labour. He stated, “No one operating in East Turkistan can exclude Uyghur forced labor. Volkswagen must withdraw from the region to avoid becoming a profiteer of the genocide against the Uyghurs.”

PARTICIPATE

Join the #WritersSupportUyghurs Campaign
The World Uyghur Congress will host an online panel featuring several award-winning and bestselling authors on Tuesday, October 17th, 2023, in response to the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in China. More information and how to join the #WritersSupportUyghurs Campaign can be found here.

Help the World Uyghur Congress Establish an Uyghur Cultural-Centre
The World Uyghur Congress is raising funds to establish an Uyghur Cultural-Centre in Munich; a dedicated space where the Uyghur community and everyone interested in the Uyghur culture can come together to learn and preserve the rich Uyghur cultural heritage. With the generous support and help of the Uyghur community worldwide, we have already achieved 80% of the total amount needed to purchase the necessary facilities. Your support can help us to get the final 20%. Please donate and share!

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.