Munich / Germany
We are extremely concerned about the recent crackdowns against Uyghur
people by the Chinese authorities in retaliation to the latest unrest in
East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of
On behalf of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), we would like to bring to your
attention to several urgent issues and we am hoping for your kind assistance
in finding possible solutions to these acute concerns.
The main objective of the World Uyghur Congress is to promote democracy,
human rights and freedom for the Uyghur people and use peaceful, nonviolent,
and democratic means to determine their political future. By representing
the Uyghur people, as the sole legitimate organization both in East
Turkestan and abroad, WUC endeavors to set out a course for the peaceful
settlement of the East Turkestan question through dialogue and negotiation.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games are now over. The Chinese government has
completely failed to keep its promise to respect human rights; although the
world's attention was concentrated on the human rights situation in China
before and during the Games and the international community had hoped China
would improve its human rights record. Instead, the situation has
dramatically worsened. The imposition of strict restrictions on civil
liberties as well as a massive campaign of arbitrary arrests in East
Turkestan both in the name of "Olympic security" have contributed to the
grossly deteriorating human rights situation.
We would like to present you with the facts since the beginning of 2008
until the opening of the 2008 Olympics. These facts are solely the
information made public by the Chinese government.
- On January 17, 2007, Chinese armed police forces killed five
Uyghurs and captured 18 in the Pamir Mountains.
- On January 27, 2008, a peaceful gathering of a group of Uyghurs
was raided by Chinese security forces. As a result two Uyghurs were killed,
six were wounded and another ten were arrested.
- In the following days after a demonstration by Uyghur women on
March 23 – 24, 2008 in Hotan, Chinese police arrested approximately 700
- On July 9, 2008, Chinese police stormed a building where a number
of Uyghurs were meeting for a religious gathering. Five Uyghurs were killed,
two injured and another eight arrested.
- Chinese authorities sentence five Uyghurs with the death penalty
sentence July 9, 2008, including Mr. Abduweli Imin and Mr. Muhter Setiwaldi,
in a public announcement made by Kashgar Peoples Court.
All of these raids and killings were not justified. Furthermore, China has
ignored every criticism voiced by the international community, has
disregarded warnings by the European Parliament, the United States and other
international institutions and has turned a blind eye to the concerns of
democratic nations across the globe. Instead, China has continued to
disrespect national and international laws and has continued its pursuit of
heavy-handed repression against the people of East Turkestan.
Relentless "Strike Hard" campaigns by Chinese security forces have pushed
some Uyghurs into desperation and few to a point of no return. As a result,
some individual Uyghurs attacked Chinese military and government targets in
Kashgar on August 4, 2008, and in Kucha on August 10, 2008. After these
attacks the Chinese authorities declared virtual martial law in these cities
and began to detain and arrest large numbers of Uyghurs. Such unjustified
actions on the part of the Chinese authorities have created a vicious cycle
and further escalated the tension between the Uyghurs and the Chinese
government. On August 27, 2008, there was another attack on a police
checkpoint in Peyziwat County, in the Kashgar region. Two officers and six
suspected were killed.
Soon after the end of the Olympic Games, Chinese authorities began to
conduct house-to-house searches. In retaliation to the events that had
occurred during the Olympic Games, authorities arrested innocent Uyghurs as
part of its massive crackdown on the entire Uyghur people in East Turkestan.