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The Uyghur Human Rights Project commemorates Human Rights Day

Mon, 12/09/2013 - 12:31 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Photo: Andy Worthington

For immediate Release
December 9, 2013, 12:00 pm EST
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 478 1920

On the occasion of Human Rights Day 2013, the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) calls on the international community to publicly speak out against human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government in East Turkestan and to remind Chinese officials of their legal obligations towards the Uyghur people.

UHRP urges Chinese President Xi Jinping to embrace the universal human rights embodied in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to respect the right of the Uyghur people to “freedom, justice and peace.”

The annual December 10 commemoration of the adoption of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 is a reminder of the indivisibility of human rights and of government obligations to meet international human rights standards.

“Time and again the Chinese government has been shown to be in violation of any number of international human rights instruments,” said UHRP Director Alim Seytoff in a statement. “The norms of behavior agreed upon by the international community clearly have no interest for Chinese officials. Enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial killings of Uyghurs are only some of the examples of China’s contempt for the protections contained in the UDHR. If we are to defend this landmark document and offer its guarantees to every human being, we must openly criticize those governments who think international human rights standards do not apply to them. This includes the People’s Republic of China despite the temptations of its wealth and power.”

2013 has witnessed a sharp decline for human rights conditions in East Turkestan. The most alarming trend has been the increase in extrajudicial killings conducted by Chinese security forces.

Deadly incidents in Seriqbuya (April), Yengi Awat (April), Yengisar (May), Awat County (June), Lukchun (June), Hanerik(June), Atush (June), Akyol (August), Yilkiqi (August), Urumchi (September), Yarkand County (September) and Seriqbuya(November) have left a number of unanswered questions over the Chinese authorities’ role in the killings of scores of Uyghurs. Accusations that Chinese security forces deployed excessive force and conducted extrajudicial killings have not been adequately addressed.

For example, following the April incident in Seriqbuya, BBC reporter Damian Grammaticas visited the town and spoke to resident Uyghurs. Chinese authorities eventually ordered Grammaticas to leave Seriqbuya, who wrote that the accounts he heard form local Uyghurs “raises questions about how at least one of the men died at the hands of police, and, possibly, whether there was justification for shooting [an]other three as well.”

The right to life is protected in Article 3 of the UDHR, which states: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

See also:

Report on Lukchun, Hotan and Urumchi Incidents 2013

Overview of the Maralbeshi Incident on 23 April 2013

The Uyghur American Association condemns Chinese escalating state violence against Uyghurs demonstrated in recent Yilkiqi incident

UAA Condemns Shootings by Police During Religious Celebration

The Uyghur American Association calls on the Chinese government to substantiate terror claims with an open and independent investigation

Uyghur American Association Urges Caution on Details of June 26, 2013 Turpan Incident

Unlawful house search and arbitrary use of lethal force results nearly two dozen deaths in Kashgar