Weekly Brief, 24 March 2023
World Uyghur Congress Attends the 52nd UN HRC
On March 23rd, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) President Dolkun Isa and Program and Advocacy Manager Zumretay Arkin participated in the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to deliver statements under Item 4 during the General Debate.
In her Item 4 statement, Program and Advocacy Manager Zumretay Arkin urged the Council to follow up on the OHCHR and CERD recommendations and for China to implement these concluding observations. “We take particular attention to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s decision under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure published on November 23 reminding States of their responsibility to cooperate to bring an end to any serious breaches of human rights violations.”
The Chinese government attempted to silence WUC President Dolkun Isa during his intervention by calling him an “anti-China force”, which is in violation with the core principles of the UN. The President of the Council, Czech Ambassador Václav Bálek gave the floor back to Mr. Isa, reminding the Council that NGOs with ECOSOC status can have speakers of their choice represented.
Uyghur Camp Survivors Attend US hearing on the Uyghur Genocide
On March 23rd, the US Select Committee on the Chinese Commmunist Party, led by Chairman US Representative Gallagher, held a hearing on the “The Chinese Communist Party’s Ongoing Uyghur Genocide”.
The hearing was attended by Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) Board Chair Nury Turkel and included Uyghur camp survivors Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Qelbinur Sidik, who gave first hand witness testimonies in front of US lawmakers. Ms. Haitiwaji and Ms. Sidik retold their harrowing experiences in the concentration camps in East Turkistan, which included detention, surveillance, rape and torture. Chairman Gallagher said during the hearing, “They [Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Qelbinur Sidik] are the first-hand witnesses to the systemic, unimaginable brutality, witnesses to the attempted elimination of a people, a culture, a civilization”.
The hearing was furthermore by Elisha Wiesel, the son of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who stated that “Looking at the world stage right now, it’s clear to me that there is no crime on such a massive scale taking place as the one that is taking place with the Uyghur people.”
WUC Celebrates Nowruz and the Beginning of Ramadan
On March 20th, the WUC together with the Munich Uyghur community were joined by the Uyghur European Ensemble (UEE) to celebrate Nowruz. The UEE is a group of Uyghur folk musicians living in Sweden, who made it their mission to keep Uyghur music alive through their concerts and performances of traditional Uyghur music.
Three days later, on March 23rd the WUC celebrated the beginning of Ramadan, wishing everyone who is observing, a peaceful and happy month, while remembering all Uyghur Muslims in East Turkistan and elsewhere who are denied their fundamental right to religion and belief.
WUC Mourns GfbV Founder Tilman Zülch
On March 19th, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), mourned the death of Tilman Zülch the founder of the Society for Threatened People (GfbV). Mr. Zülch together with Klaus Guercke founded „Aktion Biafra-Hilfe“ in 1968 from which the GfbV emerged.
Mr. Zülch was a fervent defender of human rights and one of the most prominent activists in Germany. His work on prevention of genocide and atrocity crimes has inspired many.
Apply for WUC Capacity Building Training in Stockholm, Sweden
From 28-30 April, the WUC will host a capacity building training for Uyghur youth activists in Stockholm, Sweden. If you would like to participate, go to our website and fill out the application form!
Donate to the World Uyghur Congress and support our efforts to end the Uyghur Genocide
With your donation, we can continue our national, EU and UN advocacy campaigns, provide capacity building for Uyghurs in the diaspora and continue our promotion of human rights, democracy, and religious freedom. Please donate 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 historical case.
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.