WEEKLY BRIEF: 26 JUNE 2020

World Uyghur Congress, 26 June 2020

 NEWS

Han Chinese Shares his impressions of Xinjiang
An ethnic Chinese man who used to live in Urumqi for a long time and left it not long ago was shocked to see how everything had changed completely over the years. According to him, there are checkpoints everywhere which are used by guards to control Uyghurs like prisoners. He also mentions that no one is allowed to rent a house to a non-local Uyghur, meaning that all Uyghurs from other cities are forced to go back.

The situation there is very different from what is shown on TV, where people look prosperous and content when in reality there is no privacy and freedom.

Canadian Senators Call for Magnitsky Act Sanctions
On June 23, eleven senators sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling him to take a firmer stance on China. They recommended imposing sanctions on China through the Sergey Magnitsky Law which allows the government to restrict foreign nationals responsible for human rights violations and freeze their assets.

Senators also showed their deep concerns regarding China’s attitude towards Hong Kongers, Uyghurs, and other Muslim groups, calling Chinese actions an “extremely dangerous habit”.

Book release of Sayragul Sautbay
On 24 June the book “the key witness” was presented at a press conference with Sayragul Sauytbay, Cavelius Alex, and Dolkun Isa in Berlin. Ms. Sauytbay spoke about the inhumane conditions inside the internment camps, where between 1.8 – 3 million of Uyghurs are arbitrarily detained since 2017. She was compelled by the Chinese authorities to teach Mandarin to the detainees in a camp. 

EU-China Summit
On June 22 EU and China held their 22nd Summit. During the videoconference the president of the EU, Charles Michel stated they don’t share the “same values, political systems, or approach to multilateralism” with China.

The EU also mentioned the current situation in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Tibet and raised their concerns regarding their human rights violations and decided to discuss it after Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Chinese state surveillance researcher’s warning
According to the author of the article, the city of Kashgar has changed completely from being the ancient “cradle of Uyghur culture” to a modern gulag full of high mass surveillance technologies that were provided by big tech companies. One of these companies is based in China and it’s artificial intelligence cameras can automatically recognize Uyghurs. Moreover, officials are going to put 20% of Kashgar’s Uyghur population into forced labor.

Even though some big companies like Amazon, IBM and Microsoft restricted their supply of products,it’s very disturbing that “total surveillance-control of a minority has already been achieved”.

WUC Joins the First Worldwide Against Apple Censorship Conference
On Monday, June 21, as Apple started their annual Worldwide World Developers Conference, the WUC joined Tibetan and civil society groups to call on Apple’s censorship, in the context of the Stop Apple Censorship Campaign. On this occasion, WUC Program and Advocacy Manager, Zurmetay Arkin spoke on the second panel ‘’FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION & APPLE: The Double Standard for China, Tibet, East Turkestan, and Hong Kong’’. 

WUC Highlights the Harassment of Uyghurs Abroad
On June 22, the Belgium-based media outlet, the EU Observer published an article on the harassment, reprisals from China experienced by Uyghurs in Europe. In an interview, WUC Program Manager said: “Chinese officials force Uighurs in [China] to call their relatives abroad & ask them to stop their activism. Nowhere is safe for Uighurs. (…) China’s long arm is reaching further.”

The win-win resolution proposed by China Passes at the UN
Despite opposition from the EU, SK, India, Japan and others, China has passed a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council, which severely undermines human rights in the UN. China is using the ” mutually beneficial cooperation” vague term to promote an approach that is only beneficial to States, instead of opting for ”accountability, respect, fulfillment and promotion of human rights” and dialogue with rightsholders. The resolution also calls for ”non-politicization”, but it doesn’t take into account that the cause of these violations may often be political in nature. However, there was more opposition by States than in previous years.

WUC Program Manager in an Interview with The World
On June 22, WUC Program and Advocacy Manager, Zumretay Arkin joined the host of The World Marco Werman to discuss the latest news in Xinjiang and her own personal experience as a Uighur activist.

WUC Program Manager in an Interview with AJ+ Français
On June 22, WUC Program and Advocacy Manager, Zumretay Arkin spoke to AJ+ Français about the current repression of Uyghurs in East Turkistan. In this French outlet, she said what was happening to the Uyghurs was certainly ‘’crimes against humanity’,. 

Participate
On July 2, 2020, 10 am-12 pm EDT, the World Uyghur Congress and Uyghur Human Rights Project are co-hosting an event  in commemoration of the July 5th, 2009 uprising in Urumqi. To register go to https://bit.ly/2VemHE6!

WUC Program Manager Joins the AJ+ Français Live Program
On Friday, June 26, WUC Program and Advocacy Manager, Zumretay Arkin will join a live Facebook session with the French media outlet AJ+ Français to speak about the ongoing crimes perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party against the Uyghurs. Participate here.

 Amnesty International’s Urgent Action for Qurban Mamut
On June 22 Amnesty International issued an urgent action about retired editor Qurban Mamut who disappeared in November 2017. According to his son, the last time he saw his father was February 2017, when Qurban came to the US. External sources which were provided to Qurban’s son, claim that he is in a concentration camp now and the main reason for that is because he has relatives abroad. You can help by writing a letter to the director of Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau.