As China observes its 68th anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China today, the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) urged the country to respect the fundamental human rights of the Uyghur people.
“National Day is a reminder to all marginalized and vulnerable people in China of a government that disregards international human rights standards. Religious and ethnic minorities, dissidents, rights lawyers, and outspoken academics have little to celebrate, particularly since Xi Jinping’s heavy-handed crackdown on any questioning of Communist Party policy,” said UHRP Director, Omer Kanat in a statement from Washington, DC.
Mr. Kanat added: “Uyghurs have witnessed a tightening of regulations on freedoms of speech, assembly, association, and movement under draconian counter-terror legislation. The Chinese government has similarly curtailed free expression of religious belief that equates Uyghur identity with disloyalty to the Chinese state. Under such conditions, it is no surprise that Uyghurs see National Day as a celebration dedicated to their oppressors. For this very reason, it is important to remember individuals who stood up to China’s repression and who China wants the international community to forget.”
Reminding the Chinese authorities of the need to respect fundamental human rights, UHRP highlighted some cases of Uyghur prisoners of conscience, including of Ilham Tohti, Gheyret Niyaz and Gulmire Imin; Atikem Rozi and Mutellip Imin; Nurmuhammet Yasin; Merdan Seyitakhun: Tursun Memet Marshal, and Omerjan Hesen Bozqir; among others.
Coincidently, today also marked the 62nd anniversary of the establishment of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It was formed on 1 October 1955.
In its website, the UHRP says it is a human rights and advocacy organization formed in 2004 to promote human rights and democracy for the Uyghur people, raise awareness of abuses of Uyghurs’ human rights, and support the right of the Uyghur people to use peaceful, democratic means to determine their own political future.
The Uyghur people called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as East Turkestan