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View Full Version : Stand Up for Uyghurs' Human Rights: A Demo in NYC 1 Year After Urumchi Tragedy



Kathy Polias
03-07-10, 11:37
Hello everyone:

We are having a demonstration in New York City in front of China's Permanent Mission to the UN on July 8, 2010, 4 pm - 6 pm for the one-year anniversary. See below for more details. Please try to attend if you can. We really need your participation.

Best wishes,
Kathy Polias
United Nations Liaison, World Uyghur Congress (www.uyghurcongress.org)

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Stand Up for Uyghur People’s Human Rights: A Demonstration in New York City One Year After Urumchi Tragedy

Support the Uyghur people in their struggle for basic human rights and remind the Chinese government that the world will not stay silent as it persecutes the Uyghur people. Join a demonstration in front of China’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic events in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China), and protest the Chinese government’s horrific human rights violations the Uyghur people. On July 5, 2009, Chinese security forces brutally suppressed a peaceful protest by Uyghurs in Urumchi and killed many protestors according to eyewitnesses. Ethnic unrest and violence followed, as well as one of the Chinese government’s fiercest and most repressive crackdowns on Uyghurs in history.

Date/Time: Thursday, July 8, 2010, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Location: Directly across the street from China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, 350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016 (on East 35th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Directions: The mission is walking distance from the 33rd Street subway stop on the 6 line.

Organized by: Young Turks Cultural Aid Society, Inc./Young Turks USA AND the World Uyghur Congress (www.uyghurcongress.org)

For more information, contact:

(1) Tulga Tekman, Young Turks USA, (203) 331-5415, tulgatekman@yahoo.com;
(2) Cenk Coktosun, Young Turks USA (718) 864-8157 youngturks_usa@yahoo.com; AND/OR
(3) Kathy Polias, World Uyghur Congress, (347) 285-6546, kathypolias@gmail.com.

Further Background

On July 5, 2009, Uyghurs in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China) staged a peaceful protest against government inaction on the killing of at least two, but possibly several dozen, Uyghur migrant workers, by Han Chinese workers at a toy factory in the city of Shaoguan, in the southern province of Guangdong. Chinese security forces moved in and used extreme force and violence to disperse and suppress the protest. Amnesty International has stated, “Eyewitness accounts received by Amnesty International contradict government accounts of the events of July, and suggest the authorities used excessive force against the protesters, resulting in the deaths of possibly hundreds of people.”

Security forces used tear gas and stun batons on the demonstrators. Witnesses interviewed by Amnesty International indicated that security forces also fired on the demonstrators, as well as beat and kicked them. Uyghur organizations abroad and several media outlets received similar witness accounts. Witness accounts received by Uyghur organizations abroad also indicated that protesters fled to other points of the city, where they were forced into several enclosed areas from which they could not escape and the police indiscriminately shot and killed Uyghur protestors in these enclosed areas and arrested those who remained.

The human rights violations that the Chinese authorities have perpetrated against the Uyghurs in the aftermath of the July 2009 incidents have included but have not been limited to: mass and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of Uyghurs, including minors; arbitrary sentencing of Uyghurs to death and other severe sentences after trials plagued with politicization and strangleholds on due process; and arbitrary executions.

The Uyghurs are the indigenous people of East Turkestan. The official Chinese figures claim that there are 9.6 million Uyghurs in East Turkestan, but Uyghurs believe that there are more than 20 million. East Turkestan spans more than 1.82 square kilometers (more than four times the size of California). East Turkestan has been occupied by Communist China since 1949.

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 also economically marginalized the Uyghurs in East Turkestan through intense and blatant racial discrimination in employment.