June 14, 2011

East Turkestan: After Two Years of Impunity, World Uyghur Congress Calls for Action

In remembrance of the 2009 violent suppressions against Uyghurs in Urumqi, the WUC calls for support and pressure on the Chinese government to uphold international standards of human rights.

Below is an article published by World Uyghur Congress:

On July 5, 2011 and in the days surrounding July 5th, Uyghurs in exile and their supporters around the globe will stage demonstrations and other actions to commemorate the second anniversary of one of the saddest and most tragic days in the history of the Uyghur people and of East Turkestan and to ensure that the world does not forget about the devastating plight of the Uyghur people.

On July 5, 2009, Chinese security forces brutally suppressed a peaceful protest by Uyghurs in Urumqi, the regional capital of East Turkestan, and killed an untold number of protestors.  Ethnic unrest and violence followed, as well as one of the Chinese government’s fiercest and most repressive crackdowns on Uyghurs in history.

The human rights violations that the Chinese authorities have perpetrated against the Uyghurs in the aftermath of the July 2009 incidents have included but have not been limited to: mass and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of Uyghurs (including of minors); arbitrary sentencing of Uyghurs to death, life, and various jail terms after trials plagued with intense politicization and strangleholds on due process; arbitrary executions; and intensified repression of freedom of expression, including but not limited to the detention and sentencing of Uyghur webmasters, bloggers, and journalists.

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), which promotes the human rights of the Uyghur people, and its affiliate organizations are organizing commemoration events around the world. A detailed action calendar will be published on WUC´s website soon.

In addition, the WUC calls on the international community (NGOs, parliaments, individuals, media …) to support the Uyghurs by issuing statements / press releases on 5 July 2011 on the ongoing human rights violations against the Uyghur people and express its disagreement with the Chinese government´s policies.

The international community must urge the People’s Republic of China to:

Conduct an independent effective investigation into the events of July 2009 to clarify the exact death toll

Immediately and unconditionally release all those who are only alleged to have protested peacefully on July 5th or who have been held without evidence and to ensure that those accused of cognizable crimes under international and domestic law are afforded due process, not subjected to torture or other forms of ill treatment, tried in an open and fair court, and given access to legal representation of their choice.

Prove that the Xinjiang trials were conducted according to international standards, including allowing defendants to hire lawyers of their own choosing, allowing them access to their family and lawyers, and informing family members in a timely fashion of detentions, charges and trials.

To address the root causes of the July 5th protest and the ethnic unrest, including the severe political and religious repression and economic discrimination to which Uyghurs are subjected and the dilution of Uyghurs’ language and culture.

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