Weekly Brief, 9 June 2023

Weekly Brief, 9 June 2023


World Uyghur Congress Meets Different Stakeholders in Chile and Costa Rica
On June 5, the WUC continued their South America advocacy trip and arrived in Chile, where the delegation met with various stakeholders, including the president and lawyers of the Colegio de Abogados de Chile (Chilean Bar Association), students and scholars from the International Relations Institute of the Chile University and with professors from the Human Rights Centre at the Alberto Hurtado University to discuss the topics of accountability and documentation of crimes. The WUC was also welcomed by the Ambassador of the U.S. Embassy in Chile to discuss recent developments in the multilateral negotiations on the Uyghur genocide and met with former President of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, José Antonio Viera-Gallo. Furthermore, WUC spokesperson Zumretay Arkin gave an interview to Bio Bio on the Uyghur genocide and shortly after Amnesty International in Chile organised a debrief with Chilean non-governmental organisations to build solidarity with key partners in the Global South

From June 6-7, the WUC, UHRP and Lawyers for Uyghur Rights travelled to San Jose, Costa Rica to attend Rights Con, the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age, to bring the case of Uyghurs to the attention of global actors. The team organised a joint session titled “Has the International Legal System Failed us? The Case of Uyghurs” , which featured contributions from key allies, including US Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice, Beth van Schaack. 

On the main stage of Rights Con WUC President Dolkun Isa spoke with Melissa Chan about Chinese transnational repression through the use of surveillance technology and how it has impacted his life. “Everywhere I go, I don’t feel safe.”, said WUC President Dolkun Isa. “Most of my experience in detention didn’t happen in authoritarian countries, it all happened in democratic countries, in the free world.” 

World Uyghur Congress Successfully Conducts Advocacy Events in Finnish Parliament
On June 6, a WUC delegation visited Helsinki for a round of advocacy and awareness raising events. In Helsinki the delegation attended a hearing in the Finnish Parliament, organised by MP Inka Hopsu from the Green League and the Chair of the Human Rights Network, which was attended by MP Eva Biaudet from the Swedish People’s Party of Finland and MP Helena Marttila from the Social Democrats. During the hearing, camp survivors Kalbinur Sidik and Gulbahar Haitiwaji gave testimonies about their experiences inside the Chinese concentration camps and called for MPs to table a genocide motion in the Finnish Parliament to recognise the Uyghur genocide. The WUC delegation furthermore had a meeting with the Helsinki Left Union and The Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK) to discuss Uyghur forced labour as well as the role of Finland in responding to the serious human rights abuses in East Turkistan. 

On June 8, camp survivors Kalbinur Sidik and Gulbahar Haitiwaji were interviewed by the Finnish television channel MTV Finland to talk about their experience inside the Chinese concentration camps. 

World Uyghur Congress Commemorates Tiananmen Square Massacre
On June 4, the WUC commemorated and paid respect to the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. On June 4, 1989 thousands of protestors in Beijing called for democracy and respect of human rights, when the Chinese government brutally suppressed the peaceful demonstrations, killing countless students, teachers, activists and civilians for merely exercising their freedom of speech and assembly. A year before the Tiananmen protests in 1987 a similar protest was organised in Urumchi, East Turkistan, where thousands of Uyghur students mobilised to demand democratic rights. It too was brutally cracked down by the Chinese government. This set a precedent for the ongoing Uyghur happening today, as millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic people are being arbitrarily detained, tortured, and subjected to state-imposed forced labour. 

“The Chinese government sees democracy and human rights as a threat”, said WUC President Dolkun Isa. “The world must hold the CCP to account for its past and ongoing crimes.’’

UK Government Set to Remove Chinese Surveillance Cameras
On June 8, the UK Cabinet Office announced the decision to remove all surveillance equipment from central government sites in order to prevent counter-espionage by the Chinese government. All companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law, which requires organisations to “support, assist and co-operate” with the Chinese government’s intelligence work will be removed. This also includes Dahua and Hikvision, which are complicit in the mass surveillance and genocide of Uyghurs in East Turkistan.

Additionally three of the UK’s biggest supermarkets banned Chinese CCTV cameras from their stores due to security concerns and their involvement in the human rights atrocities against Uyghurs. 


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.