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Weekly Brief, 24 June 2022

Weekly Brief, 24 June 2022


Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act Comes Into Force
On June 22nd, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) came into effect in the U.S., banning the import of goods from East Turkistan. The UFLPA establishes a ‘rebuttable presumption’ that all goods, including raw materials, coming from East Turkistan are tainted by forced labour, requiring a high standard of evidence from the importer to show that goods are not tainted with forced labour. 

As the new norms apply in the U.S., the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) joined the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region calling on businesses not to dump goods linked to East Turkistan into other markets and to not re-export tainted goods, warning them of the serious reputational and legal risks they could face.

Nury Turkel, Elected as Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
On June 22nd, the WUC applauded the election of Uyghur-American attorney, Nury Turkel, as the Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Chair Turkel is a respected figure in the Uyghur community, which he has served for decades and continues to do so proudly. He is one of the founding members of the WUC and has provided policy and legal advice to current and former WUC presidents. “I am delighted to receive the news that my long-time friend Nury Turkel has been elected as the Chair of the USCIRF’’, said WUC President, Dolkun Isa. “His in-depth knowledge of foreign policy and human rights makes him a valuable asset to the USCIRF and to the mission of protecting religious freedom worldwide.’’

WUC Calls for Urgent Measures to Protect Uyghurs at Risk of Refoulement
On June 17th, on the occasion of World Refugee Day 2022, the WUC joined a group of 22 refugee and human rights groups and 50 Uyghur organisations calling on governments and international organisations to take urgent steps to protect Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples at imminent risk of refoulement. As atrocity crimes unfold in the Uyghur region of China—including mass detention, forced labour, and torture—Uyghurs outside China, including human rights defenders, are subject to persistent barriers to international protection and risks of deportation.

World Uyghur Congress Conducts Advocacy Trip to the United States
This week, WUC’s President Dolkun Isa, travelled to the United States to attend a series of events. On During the 8th Parliamentarian Convention on Tibet, he met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, NED President Dalmon Mac Wilson, the Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration Penpa Tsering, the President of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, Khenpo Sonam, and American actor and Tibet supporter Richard Gere.

Speaking at the Forum’s panel titled ‘Common Ground to Face Common Challenges’, Mr. Isa highlighted that “by finding common challenges and opportunities, and by celebrating shared successes, we hold the power to put an end to crimes that are amongst the worst of the 21st century.” “If we speak together with one voice, the international community will not be able to ignore us, and cannot say it didn’t know,”, he added.


WUC to Hold Human Rights Exhibition in Brussels
The World Uyghur Congress, in partnership with the US Embassy in Brussels and the US Mission to the European Union, will exhibit its Uyghur Voices: Human Rights Exhibition in Brussels, Belgium, from June 27-29, at Place Jean Rey. Come visit us and learn about the Uyghur genocide. More info here!

Ask Saudi Authorities to Halt Uyghur Deportations to China
Buheliqiemu Abula, her 13-year-old daughter, Nuermaimaiti Ruze and Aimidoula Waili are still facing the serious risk of deportation to China. Amnesty International is leading an “Urgent Action” through which individuals can reach out to the Saudi authorities to demand compliance with international law and cancel these deportations. Sign the call here!