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WUC statment
14-04-06, 20:29
WUC Calls on the Bush Administration to Press China on Human Rights

For Immediate Release,

Contact: Alim A. Seytoff
World Uyghur Congress
Phone: 202-321-2388

Monday, April 14, 2006

Washington – The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) calls on the Bush Administration to press the Chinese government to respect the human rights of the Uyghur people and stop persecuting them using the global war on terror as a cover during the Bush-Hu Summit.

“I ask President Bush to urge President Hu Jintao to respect the human rights of the Uyghur people and reiterate his Administration’s position that China has no right to use the war on terror to crack down the Uyghurs,” said Erkin Alptekin, President of WUC.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the Chinese government claimed itself a victim of terrorism and began to widely crack down the Uyghur people since they are Muslims. Realizing that China would use the global war on terrorism to justify its persecution of Uyghurs, President Bush, while attending the APEC Summit in Shanghai in October 2001, specifically said, “No government should use our war against terrorism as an excuse to persecute minorities within their borders.”

However, in spite of such stern warning by the U.S. government and the condemnation of international human rights watchdogs, China arrested and executed many Uyghurs on alleged charges of “terrorism,” and continues to do so. According to the Uyghur Human Rights Project, the Chinese government recently sentenced Ismail Semed to death for “attempting to split the motherland” following his deportation from Pakistan.

In fact, contrary to the Chinese government’s allegations, the Uyghur people have been a victim of China’s state-sponsored terrorism, especially after 9/11. Today, any Uyghur who peacefully criticizes the Chinese government’s oppressive policies in East Turkestan is subject to arrest, torture, and even execution. As Manfred Nowak, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, pointed out last December after his visit to China that torture in East Turkestan was rampant. Clearly, the victim of terror is not China but Uyghurs.

“President Bush must tell Hu to stop terrorizing the Uyghur people as he did before.”

China’s President Hu Jintao will meet with President George Bush in the White House when he visits Washington on April 20. During the meeting, both sides will discuss a number of important issues, including human rights and the global war on terrorism.