Press Release – For immediate release
9 January 2014
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alarmed by recent killings of Uyghurs in East Turkestan, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) will be coordinating protests around the world to demonstrate outside Chinese embassies and consulates. Taking place between 10 and 13 January 2014, the WUC seeks to draw attention to the Chinese government’s systematic human rights violations, especially extrajudicial killings, against Uyghurs in East Turkestan through such demonstrations, and calls upon all those wishing to show support to attend.
The WUC will be holding demonstrations in Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Taiwan, US and Canada. To find out where the protests will be taking place, please view the full protest calendar here.
During the past 9 months, over 30 incidents have taken place in East Turkestan in which many Uyghurs have lost their lives, whilst many more have found themselves arbitrarily detained, as the Chinese authorities have sought to suppress mounting unrest by Uyghurs at the Chinese authorities crackdown in the region. Although incidents in Maralbeshi, Lukchun, Hotan and Saybagh have caught the attention of the international community and media, other lesser-reported though no less serious incidents also occurred in Poskam, Yarkant, Yilkiqi, Aykol and Yingwusitang.
In the aftermath of many of these incidents, the Chinese media and authorities have attempted to sow into the narrative the seeds of a sustained “terrorist” threat, only to be contradicted by the few journalists to have gained access to the region, and by eyewitnesses on the ground. More telling has been the media clampdown on the region, which should draw further suspicion upon the official narrative and understanding of the incidents. Journalists and independent observers attempting to report on the situation have found themselves detained, harassed or having video or camera footage deleted, including BBC, De Redactie, AFP, Canal+, and CNN .
One of the most alarming aspects of the 2013 region-wide crackdown is the sustained use of violence by the Chinese security forces. Eyewitnesses have reported that the police have undertaken illegal house raids, opening fire on the inhabitants with impunity; others have reported their deceased relatives being buried in unmarked graves without informing the next of kin.
In view of these developments, it is absolutely vital that the international community sends out a strong message to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that such incidents are unacceptable, and that it should uphold international human rights law and standards with the strictest adherence. The PRC should undertake investigations into these incidents and provide reparations to the victims and their families. It is therefore hoped that these protests will stand as an important reminder to the international community of their own obligations to promote and protect human rights around the world.