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Weekly Brief, 25 August 2023

Weekly Brief, 25 August 2023

NEWS

World Uyghur Congress Condemns OIC Visit to East Turkistan
On August 22, the World Uyghur Congress condemned the recent visit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to China. The delegation led by Ambassador Dya-Eddine Bamakhrama, the permanent representative of Djibouti to the OIC, arrived in China on August 17 to meet with China’s Vice Foreign Minister, Deng Li, and other CCP officials. The delegation furthermore went to visit East Turkistan to “observe the living conditions of the Muslim community”. 

World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa, stated that the OIC falls “trap into the Chinese propaganda machinery by believing they can observe Uyghurs living free without any religious or cultural repression. Islam and Uyghur culture are being showcased to visitors, while millions of our people are prohibited, criminalised and punished from practising their religion.” The World Uyghur Congress condemns the complete disregard for Uyghur lives and reminds the OIC to uphold their own moral values and principles, and to not be complicit in the atrocity crimes of the Chinese government. Islamic values are universal and should be protected everywhere. 

China’s Plan to Build a New U.K. Embassy has Failed
The Chinese government’s plan to reconstruct the 19th-century Royal Mint in London, into Europe’s largest embassy has failed, after the town council of Tower Hamlets, London’s largest Muslim constituency, refused the plans. “A bigger Chinese embassy in important European capitals means a more important presence, and this causes fear and anxiety in the Uyghur community that is constantly subjected to transnational repression,” said Zumretay Arkin, spokeswoman for the WUC. 

The campaign against the construction was led by Tower Hamlets councillor, Rabina Khan, World Uyghur Congress U.K. Director, Rahima Mahmut, founder of the diaspora group Hongkongers in Britain, Simon Chen, and the Chair of the Tibetan Community in Britain, Tenzin Konger. The WUC UK Director, Rahima Mahmut, expressed “One of our main concerns has always been the high-tech surveillance systems they would introduce to track down dissidents. “They have a record of transnational repression and more cameras would put exiles and activists at risk.”

Uyghur Children Face Becoming “Artificial Orphans”
On August 22, Bitter Winter reported on the fate of Uyghur children, whose parents were sent to concentration camps. The Chinese government engages in “family persecutions”. When one spouse is investigated and/or arrested, the other spouse is also arrested, and vice versa, for alleged “complicity” or “cover-up”. After their parents’ detention, Uyghur children are automatically transferred to childcare institutions or placed in orphanages and boarding schools, where they are prevented from speaking in their mother language. “One of the most heinous tactics against Uyghur children is in fact to make them “artificial orphans,” says member of the WUC Executive Committee, Dilxat Raxit. In an attempt to save their children from being sent away, many Uyghur families apply for divorce and try to save their family from being separated. Once divorced, the CCP’s “guilt by association” principle cannot be applied.

Retired RCMP Officer Charged With Conducting Foreign Interference On Behalf of China
On August 21, the Globe and Mail reported that a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Officer, William Majcher, is charged for conducting foreign espionage under the Security of Information Act. According to the RCMP, the former officer has utilised his skills and connections to assist the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in implementing the Operation Fox Hunt and Operation SkyNet projects which were used to target and silence dissidents. Furthermore, the RCMP alleges that the Chinese government asked Mr. Majcher to gather information, including meeting schedules, events and financial status of the World Uyghur Congress and its former leader Rebiya Kadeer. 

Walmart, Diesel and Hugo Boss are Under Investigation for Selling Uyghur Forced Labour Goods
On August 24, the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) released its Initial Assessment Report for Walmart Canada Corp.,Diesel Canada Inc. and Hugo Boss Canada Inc.. The three Canadian companies face a federal probe for the sale of items made with Uyghur forced labour, after 28 civil society organisations filed a complaint in 2022. The complaint accuses Diesel, Walmart and Hugo Boss of maintaining operations or supply chains in East Turkistan that use or benefit from Uyghur forced labour. 

Just last week CORE released its Initial Assessment reports for Ralph Lauren Canada LP and the Canadian mining company, GobiMin over Uyghur forced labour allegations. The investigations are a response to the 2022 campaign led by the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), which called on CORE to investigate 14 Canadian companies for their alleged links to Uyghur forced labour in their supply chains.

PARTICIPATE

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.