WEEKLY BRIEF: 31 JULY 2020

World Uyghur Congress, 31 July 2020

NEWS

Rally in Front of the Siemens Headquarter in Munich
On July 27, the WUC, Society for Threatened People and the Uyghur community held a demonstration in Munich to call on Siemens and its CEO JoeKaeser to respond to allegations that Siemens is complicit in serious human rights violations against Uyghurs in East Turkistan. Siemens is cooperating with the Chinese state company “China Electronic Technology Group” (CETG). CETG developed a special surveillance software on which Uyghurs and others have been detained in one of the more than 1000 internment camps. 

No Rights No Games Campaign
The WUC issued a press released calling on hte IOC to reconsider China’s hosting of the 2022 Olympics in light of the ongoing genocide against the Uyghur people. Right now, 1.8-3 Million Uyghurs are arbitrarily detained in internment camps, hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs have been sent to forced labour facilities and Uyghur women are forced to be sterilized. This can no longer be accepted. We urge the IOC to immediately act to ensure that the 2022 Olympic Winter Games are not held in a country that commits these appalling abuses against its own people.

The message from the IOC should be simple, genocide, crimes against humanity and severe human rights violations cannot be tolerated and go against everything that the Olympic movement values and represents. Any country actively committing such heinous acts must not be allowed to host an event centred on humanity, solidarity, peace and fraternity.

China & Uyghurs: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
On 26 July, John Oliver addressed the Uyghur crisis in his television show Last Week Tonight. He called on the international community to pay attention to the issue, saying “We have to make sure that the treatment of Uyghurs is on that list ’cause when we are dealing with a concerted campaign centred on cultural erasure, one of the most important things we can do is continue to pay attention.” 

Commemoration of the Six Years Anniversary of the Yarkand Massacre
On July 28, WUC and the Uyhur community commemorated the six years anniversary of the Yarkand Massacre.  In 2014, Chinese security forces violently suppressed a large peaceful protest in Yarkand, leading to the deaths of many innocent Uyghurs.

The Yarkand Massacre stands as another example of the Chinese government’s complete disregard for Uyghur voices and opinions and the violent repression of anyone who expresses any form of dissent. The massacre preceded the current crisis and shows the escalating violence in the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghur people.

“We must honor the victims of the #YarkandMassacre by shining a light on the Chinese government’s violence & abhorrent treatment of the #Uyghur people. So many innocent people have died or suffered incredibly simply because they were born Uyghur.” stated WUC President Dolkun Isa. 

The WUC remembers all those who were killed by Chinese authorities. 

Young Uyghur Died in Internment Camp
On July 27, Bitter Winter reported the heartbreaking story of Ekrem Mehmet, a young Uyghur father, who died in an internment camp before he was allowed to see his new born child. After studying Turkic languages and literature in Istanbul, Ekrem went back to work as an academic teacher in Urumqi. In 2018, the Chinese authorities detained him because he had graduated abroad. Two years after his detention Ekrems friends living abroad received the heartbreaking message that they would never see their friend again since he  died in the internment camp. 

Uyghur Wife Disappeared Again After Being Released From the Camps
Mamujan Abdurehin wrote about the tragic story of his wife and his children. In 2017, Mr. Abdurehim’s wife, Muherrem Ablet, was detained in one of the more than 1000 detention camps, after she was forced to return to East Turkistan with her children to renew her passport, as Business Insider Australia reported. Two years later she was released from the camps, but Abdurehim found out that she had disappeared again and that she might have been jailed for five years. Mr. Abdurehim’s and Ms. Ablet’s children are left behind in East Turkistan without their parents.

Pope stays Silence on Uyghur Genocide
On July 30, Foreign Policy reported about a secret deal between the Vatican and the Chinese government.  Pope Francis has been known for speaking out on the most compelling human rights crisis such as the plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar and conflict in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and Nigeria but has been silence so far on the heinous human rights crimes committed by the Chineses authorities against the Uyghur community. Benedict Rogers called on the Pope and the Catholic Church to break their silence on hte Uyghur genocide.

NBA Academy in East Turkistan
Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru conducted an investigation for ESPN into the systematic abuse in the NBA academies in China and the discrimination and mistreatment of Uyghurs in East Turkistan. In 2016, the NBA launched a training academy in East Turkistan, where Chinese government systematically commits crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic groups.  Coaches at these facilities testified that children in these academies often did not receive an education and were subjected to abuse. They also stated that they were aware of the atrocities against Uyghurs in East Turkistan, but had to remain silent and turn a blind eye to what they were witnessing. The WUC continues to call on the NBA to adhere to its values and principles and denounce the ongoing genocide against Uyghurs. Closing the NBA academy in East Turkistan was an important first step, but much more needs to be done.