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Kathy Polias
16-04-10, 05:54
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MULTI-STOP RALLY FOR UYGHUR PEOPLE’S HUMAN RIGHTS DURING THE PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES AT THE UNITED NATIONS IN NEW YORK

The Uyghur people of East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China) are enduring immense suffering at the hands of the Chinese government. Take to the streets around the United Nations in New York to: urge country missions and intergovernmental delegations to stay true to the founding principles of the United Nations and defend the basic human rights of the Uyghurs at the UN; and raise general awareness -- during the annual Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN -- of the Chinese government's relentless persecution and repression of the Uyghur people. We will walk to and hold demonstrations in front of several buildings containing various country missions and delegations to the UN.

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Location(s): The starting point (first demonstration/first stop) will be 866 United Nations Plaza, New York, New York (at the corner of East 48th Street and 1st Avenue), which contains more than twenty country missions to the UN. The demonstration in front of this building will be from 4 pm - 4:30 pm. We will then move on to the other stops, all of which are also are in the vicinity of the UN. The locations of the other stops will be circulated soon.

Directions by subway: All of the stops/demonstrations will be within walking distance from the Grand Central Terminal subway stop on the 4,5,6 trains and on the Shuttle (S) train from Times Square.

Organized by: The Uyghur American Association (www.uyghuramerican.org) and the International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation (www.iuhrdf.org)

Background

The Uyghur people are indigenous to East Turkestan [also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China]. They are a Turkic, Central Asian people and their dominant religion is Sunni Islam. For many years, the Chinese government has waged an intense and often brutal campaign to repress all forms of Uyghur dissent, crack down on Uyghurs' peaceful religious activities and independent expressions of ethnicity, dilute Uyghurs' culture and identity as a distinct people, and threaten the survival of the Uyghur language. The authorities have routinely equated Uyghurs' peaceful political, religious, and cultural activities with the "three evils" – terrorism, separatism and religious extremism. The authorities have also economically marginalized the Uyghurs in East Turkestan through intense and blatant racial/ethnic discrimination in employment.

On July 5, 2009, Uyghurs in the city of Urumchi (the regional capital of East Turkestan) staged a peaceful protest that was brutally suppressed by Chinese security forces. Numerous witness accounts provided to human rights organizations abroad (including but not limited to Uyghur organizations) -- as well as witness accounts provided to the media – indicated that security forces committed extrajudicial killings of protestors. The human rights violations that the Chinese government committed during – and have committed in the aftermath – of the peaceful protest and the ethnic unrest in Urumchi in July 2009 have also included but have not been limited to, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary sentencing of individuals to death after trials plagued with politicization and intense strangleholds on due process, and arbitrary executions.

For more information, contact: Kathy Polias, United Nations Liaison, Uyghur American Association (www.uyghuramerican.org), Cell: 347-285-6546, E-mails: kpolias@uyghuramerican.org, kathypolias@gmail.com.