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Weekly Brief, 24 November

Weekly Brief, 24 November


World Uyghur Congress Attends Halifax International Security Forum
Between November 17-19, the World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa, attended the 15th Annual Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) which was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. At the HFX global leaders, experts, and innovators converge to discuss pressing security challenges. From cyber threats to geopolitical shifts, the forum is a crucial platform for fostering collaboration and finding solutions.

During the conference Mr. Isa met with senior government officials, military and civil society representatives, including Canadian Chief of Staff General, Wagner D. Eyer, former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Peter MacKay, prominent Russian human rights activist, Evgenia Kara-Murza and Canadian Minister of National Defense, Bill Blair.

On November 20, after the HFX WUC President, Dolkun Isa travelled to Toronto for the Canadian launch of his book ”The China Freedom Trap: My Life on the Run” with publisher Dean Baxendale and executive director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, Mehmet Tohti. 

World Uyghur Congress Stands for Uyghur Children’s Rights
November 20, marked the 64th anniversary of the International Children’s Day. Since 1959 the children’s day has been celebrated to commemorate the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly. On that day the World Uyghur Congress expressed its concern about the protection of Uyghur and other Turkic children’s rights in East Turkistan. Highlighting an increase in the number of state-run boarding schools and forced family separation policies implemented by the Chinese government, the WUC referred to the recent UN press release. United Nations experts have raised concerns over children being deprived of an education in their mother tongue, and receiving bad treatment inside the schools, where they also have no interaction with their parents or extended family members. The World Uyghur Congress expresses that there is a need to  address the discriminatory nature of these policies, which violate the right to education without discrimination, family life, and cultural rights.

New Report on Uyghur Forced Labor
On November 20, Senior Fellow and Director in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Dr. Adrian Zenz, published his new report on Uyghur forced labour. It is the first systematic assessment of the International Labour Organization’s 2012 Survey Guidelines for measuring non-internment state-imposed forced labour in East Turkistan & other Central Asian regions. The research argues for a significant adaptation of the ILO indicators and for the EU Commission’s proposal to prohibit products made with forced labour on the EU market, to include the reversal of the burden of proof to effectively combat state-imposed forced labour in East Turkistan.

World Uyghur Congress Remembers the Victims of the Urumchi Fire
On November 22, the World Uyghur Congress issued a press release commemorating the victims of the devastating apartment fire in Urumchi, which claimed the lives of more than dozens of Uyghurs. The residents were prevented from evacuating the building due to the strict lockdown measures imposed by the Chinese government, and according to local residents, firefighters arrived three hours after the fire began, despite their close proximity to the building.

The complete disregard for Uyghur lives, which we have seen during the Urumchi fire, is characteristic of the Chinese regime’s repressive measures against Uyghurs’’, said World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa. 

Furthermore, the fire led to the globally known ‘White Paper’ protests, initiated in response to videos filmed by residents and circulated on Chinese social media, exposing the failure of the authorities to respond to the fire effectively. The protests turned into a global movement with Chinese students across the world commemorating the victims of the Urumchi fire and standing in solidarity with the protesters in China.

Germany Publishes Third Report on the Global Situation of Freedom of Belief
On November 22, the Federal Government of Germany published its third report on the global situation of freedom of religion or belief. The report highlights violations of freedom of religion or belief worldwide, including systematic persecution, attacks and forcible displacement. In addition to a systematic country section,  the report also includes two thematic chapters, on the religious freedom of indigenous peoples and the contribution of religions to sustainable development. Particular attention is being paid to the situation of the Yazidis, the Uyghurs and the Rohingya. The report is particularly concerned about the ongoing restrictions in East Turkistan, where religious freedom is severely curtailed under the pretext of fighting terrorism, and underlines the alarming situation of the Uyghurs and Kazakhs, with serious evidence of human rights violations, including crimes against humanity. Hereby, referencing the OHCHR assessment from August 2022. 


Join Us at the European Parliament
Join us on November 30, at the European Parliament for a panel discussion organised by the World Uyghur Congress, and the Italian Federation for Human Rights on China’s growing influence in the EU: Implications for EU Policy, National Security & Human Rights. The event is hosted by European Parliament Vice-President, Pina Picierno. 

Follow the link to register. 

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.