WEEKLY BRIEF: 7 AUGUST 2020

World Uyghur Congress, 7 August 2020

NEWS

Merdan Ghappar Sends Rare Video from Detention
On 4 August, BBC news released a video and text message from Merdan Ghappar, a Uyghur model in East Turkistan , which gives insights about the horrific treatment of Uyghurs and others inside the camps and the CCP’s repressive response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The text message recounts overcrowding, indoctrination and mistreatment that the Uyghurs are subjected to in the camps. The video was taken in a quarantine centre where Mr. Ghappar was handcuffed to a bed. This is yet another evidence that proves the current context of repression and genocide fof Uyghurs and other Turkic groups.His family have not heard from him since the messages stopped a few months ago, and his whereabouts remain unknown. 

Horrific First-Hand Testimony of the Internment Camps
On August 2, WUC’s UK director, Rahima Mahmut, read the shocking testimony of camp survivor Sayragul Sauytbay on LBC hosted by Maajid Nawaz. Mr. Nawaz stressed out how important the importance of gathering personal testimony is, since a totalitarian regime will not admit to a genocide voluntarily.

Forced Birth Control Procedure
On 7 August, RFA reported that Uyghur women who are forced to undergo birth control procedures in East Turkistan are barely informed about lifelong health complications as a negative effect of the surgeries. RFA spoke to several Uyghur women who told them details about the painful procedures they had to go through. 

In an interview with CNN Rahima Mahmut, WUC representative in London, stated that in a genocide, women are always the first target. CCN also interviewed camp survivors Zumrat Dawut and Gulbakhar Jalilova on the horrid conditions under which women have to live inside the internment camps, such as sexual abuse and forced sterilization. 

Reallocation of Camp Detainees 
On August 4, RFA reported that around 7000 Uyghurs were taken from the camps to a closed “residential area”. In these residential zones former detainees are permitted to live with their families,  but otherwise differ rarely from the internment camps.  In these residential facilities Uyghurs cannot leave the facilities without permission and must attend political indoctrination classes, and sessions involving “self-examinations” and “confessions”.

Zara Larsson Ends Cooperation with Huawei
On August 4, Daily Sabah reported that swedish singer Larsson canceled her partnership with Huawei, which is complicit in serious human rights violations against Uyghurs. Ms. Larsson stated that she felt hindered from speaking out on the Uyghur crisis during the collaboration.

Iran Hardliner Agreeing with Crackdown on Uyghurs
On August 4, Radio Farda reported that Former member of the Iranian parliament Ali Motahari stated that Iran has kept silent about the persecution of Uyghurs in China because it needs China’s economic support and that this silence has been humiliating for the Islamic Republic.

Despite the fact that the CCP is committing genocide against Uyghurs and described Islam as an “ideological illness” that must be “eradicated”, hardliners in the Iran tried to justify China’s actions and their silence, claiming that “China is serving Islam”.

Uyghurs facing genocide and religious persecution are forsaken for Chinese investment.

The solace of Music: WUC Representative on Her Activism and what Music Means to Her
On August 5, Ellen Halliday published an article about the impressive life story of Rahima Mahmud, artist, activist and head of the WUC office in London . Ms. Rahima grew up in a house full of music and studied petrochemical engineering. Witnessing and experiencing some of China’s worst human rights abuses Ms. Rahima decided to flee to London.  Now that she has lost her home and family, music gives her the strength to rise like a phoenix from the ashes, to rise from the sadness. 

Uyghur Solidarity Campaign Organises Rally in London
On 5 August, Uyghur Solidarity Campaign organised their monthly rally in London to call on the Chinese Embassy to stop the persecution, forced labour, mass internment and genocide of the Uyghur people by the Chinese State. 

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Global Day of Action
Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians, Taiwanese and Chinese are calling for a Global Day of Action against China on October 1 2020, the founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. You can find more information here!