March 7th, National Press Club- Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress, Discusses the Removal of his INTERPOL Red Notice

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Press Conference Announcement: Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress, Discusses the Removal of his INTERPOL Red Notice

National Press Club, Zenger Room, Wednesday, March 7th, 12:30 PM

The World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur Human Rights Project cordially invite you to a press conference featuring Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 7th, at 12:30 PM at the National Press Club.
Mr. Isa will discuss the recent announcement by INTERPOL of the removal of the Red Notice placed on him by the Chinese government. Mr. Isa, a prominent Uyghur activist, has been the target of Chinese government harassment and interference for two decades. Despite his German citizenship, the Chinese government was able to use the Red Notice system as an important tool to attempt to disrupt legitimate human rights advocacy. The Chinese authorities have also successfully prevented him from participating in UN events and meetings at the parliaments of European countries. Mr. Isa will also discuss recent developments in the human rights situation of the Uyghurs, including stepped-up threats and reprisals against Uyghurs living in the U.S., France, and Egypt. He will be available to answer questions.
The event is open to all.  The below QR code can be used to access the National Press Club on the day of the event:
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UHRP Event on February 26th: Uyghur Religious Freedom and Cultural Values Under Siege

On Monday, February 26th, the Uyghur Human Rights Project in co-operation with the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization, the Uyghur American Association and the World Uyghur Congress, held a conference at the U.S. House of Representatives entitled “Uyghur Religious Freedom and Cultural Values Under Siege.”

Professor Sean Roberts of George Washington University discussed the self-fulfilling prophecy of the militarization of the conflict between the Uyghurs and the Chinese state, and suggested that the U.S. push the Chinese government to allow a delegation access to inspect the re-education camps that have been set up across the region.  Teng Biao, visiting scholar at New York University, highlighted some of the people who have been unjustly sentenced to prison for advocating Uyghur rights, including Ilham Tohti. Alim Seytoff, Director of the RFA Uyghur Service, discussed the high-tech police state that is being set up in East Turkestan.  Tina L. Mufford from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom discussed the ongoing crackdown on Uyghur’s religious freedom and suggested that tools such as the Magnitsky Act be employed to press for improvement of the human rights situation.   Chen Pokong, a Chinese democracy movement activist, pointed out that the technology currently being deployed against Uyghurs will likely not be limited to them but against Chinese as well.  Finally, Nicole Morgret, UHRP’s Project Manager discussed UHRP’s recent report on the harassment of Uyghurs overseas by the Chinese government.

Below is  a transcript of the opening remarks from Mr. Omer Kanat, Director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, and a complete video of the event.

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Good Morning Everybody,

Before we begin I want to thank the Tom Lantos Commission, the Uyghur American Association, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), without whom this conference would not happen.  I want to thank you all for choosing to join us today; your attendance demonstrates that people are paying attention to the issue and have not forgotten the Uyghurs.

This conference is being held now due to the rapidly worsening situation in East Turkestan.  The new party secretary of East Turkestan, Chen Quanguo, has turned East Turkestan into a police state with highly advanced surveillance technology. He has eliminated Uyghur language classes in  so-called bilingual schools and practically banned Uyghurs from practicing their religion and enjoying their culture.

Thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs , including men, women, children and elderly have been placed in re-educations camps. Forced disappearances, torture, and death in custody are rampant.

East Turkestan looks like a war zone today, with military-style occupation of the streets and villages: there are numerous checkpoints between villages and hundreds of police check points in the cities throughout  East Turkestan.

The Chinese government, through coercion, intimidation and threats, is collecting DNA samples from Uyghurs. Uyghurs’ are very concerned about for what purpose this information will be used by Chinese authorities in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, what’s going on in East Turkestan on Uyghur people is a cultural genocide, and cannot be overlooked. It is essential that the international community, particularly the United States, exert pressure on the Chinese government to stop its repressive policies towards the Uyghur people.

Lack of reaction from international community and the U.S. will encourage the Chinese government to continue its repressive action in East Turkestan.

Conferences such as these are essential to raise recognition of the plight of the Uyghurs and to galvanize the international community to hold the Chinese government accountable for their actions.

Thank you.

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Watch Zubayra Shamseden Speak on Uyghur Rights on DRL’s “Religious Freedom and Empowering Civil Society” Panel

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On January 30th UHRP’s Chinese Outreach Coordinator Zubayra Shamseden was invited by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor to speak on a panel on religious freedom. This series of panels was held in honor of National Religious Freedom Day on January 16th, the day the Virginia General Assembly adopted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson, and the basis for the First Amendment.

One of Ms. Shamseden’s co-panelists, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, from Boat People SOS, pointed out that religious freedom is the meeting point for many important freedoms- without freedom of speech, assembly, movement and association there can be no religious freedom. This fact can certainly be applied to the Uyghurs’ situation, who face harsh repression of all of those freedoms. Ms. Shamseden pointed out that the Chinese authorities attacks on Uyghur religious are attacks on their identity, culture and history.

Ms. Shamseden’s other co-panelist, Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, discussed the on-going ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar, stated that as in the Uyghur case a challenge for the Rohingyas is the fact that their Muslim identity makes it more difficult to raise international sympathies. The fact that the international community is not strongly reacting to the situation means that the military regime thinks it will be able to get away with their actions and escalate attacks against other minorities as well. This can also be said about the Chinese government; if the international community does not condemn Chinese government actions and take concrete steps to discourage it, it is likely to continue and become worse.

Ms. Shamseden helped place the situation in East Turkestan in the context of worldwide challenges to religious freedom by repressive authoritarian governments. Please watch the entire panel here:

 

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