Dec 06, 2006

UNPO General Secretary Addresses World Uyghur Congress General Assembly

The World Uyghur Congress held its II General Assembly from 24 -27 November 2006 in Munich, Germany. Mr. Busdachin expressed UNPO’s continued support for the Uyghur People, and underlined their long history and role within UNPO.

The World Uyghur Congress Successfully Concludes Its Second Assembly

Below is a press release by World Uyghur Congress, followed by  the  Speech of Mr. Marino Busdachin. Please also see link to  Welcome  Address  by Erkin Alptekin.

Munich, 27 November 2006 – The World Uyghur Congress has successfully held its Second Assembly from November 24 to 27 in Munich, Germany. WUC delegates from the United States, Canada, the Great Britain, Australia, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan attended this assembly. Prominent Uyghur political leader and human rights activist Ms. Rebiya Kadeer was unanimously elected as the new President of World Uyghur Congress.

''I am really delighted to be elected as the new president,'' said Ms. Kadeer, who is also the president of the Uyghur American Association based in Washington, DC. ''I promise that I will peacefully struggle for Uyghur people's freedom and human rights until they have them.''

''Ms. Kadeer's election marks a new beginning for our freedom movement, and I am confident that she will take our cause to a new level and change the future of Uyghur people,'' said Erkin Alptekin, former WUC President.

Ms. Kadeer's election has given new hope and strength for WUC and the Uyghur people all around the world. Since her release from Chinese custody in March 2005 to the U.S., Ms. Kadeer has never stopped fighting for the human rights, religious freedom and democracy of the Uyghur people who have been suffering under China's authoritarian rule since 1949.

To retaliate Ms. Kadeer's human rights activism and silence her voice in the world, the Chinese government arrested her three sons and put her daughter under house arrest in early June. The Chinese authorities even threatened her not to nominate herself as WUC president, or else her sons would be punished just a week before the WUC II Assembly. Today, Ms. Kadeer's youngest son Alim Abdureyim was sentenced to seven years by a Chinese court on charges of tax evasion and released her oldest son Kahar Abdureyim with huge fines on the same charges. However, there is still not any kind of information regarding her third son Ablikim Abdureyim.

''All my three sons are innocent, and the Chinese authorities knew that clearly'' said Ms. Kadeer, ''the Chinese government made clear to the world with today's political decision that human rights and rule of law have no place in China.''

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, 60, is a former prisoner of conscience. She is the 2004 Rafto Award laureate and 2005/2006 Nobel Peace Prize candidate. She has been universally recognized as 'the Mother of Uyghur Nation' by the Uyghur people both in East Turkistan and abroad.

WUC New Leadership:

Honorary Chairman:       Mehmet Riza Bekin

Chief Advisor:                Erkin Alptekin

Advisor:                         Sidikhaji Rozi

President:                     Ms. Rebiya Kadeer

Vice-presidents:        Kahriman Ghojamberdi, Memet Tohti, Eskercan Siyit Tumturk


Chairman of Executive Committee:          Alim Seytoff

Vice-chairman of Executive Committee:   Ablikim Idris

General Secretary:                                 Dolkun Isa

Spokesman:                                          Dilshat Reshit


The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) recently concluded its II General Assembly, held between 24 and 27 November 2006 in Munich, Germany. The Assembly was attended and addressed by a number of distinguished speakers and participants, including; parliamentarians, representatives from leading human rights organisations, and Nobel Prize Nominee Rebiya Kadeer (pictured, third from top, middle). UNPO General Secretary Mr. Marino Busdachin (pictured, top, left) attended and addressed the Assembly, expressing the friendship and solidarity felt between UNPO and the Uyghur People, both in East Turkestan and elsewhere in the world. He also underlined the continual shortcomings in China’s treatment of the minorities within its borders, and urged the international community to do more to address these injustices.  These words were echoed also by the President of WUC, Mr. Erkin Alptekin (pictured, bottom).

(Speech by the President of the World Uyghur Congress, Mr. Erkin Alptekin)

Speech by UNPO General Secretary Marino Busdachin

Delivered to the World Uyghur Congress II General Assembly
24 November 2006

Munich, Germany


I am glad to be here, and grateful to have the opportunity to address you during today’s important meeting on behalf of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). I convey to you the salutations of the 63 Members of the UNPO, who represent over 200 million people around the world.

I would like in particular to extend to you the warm greetings of the Turkic Peoples and Nations who are part of UNPO such as, Bashkortostan and Circassia, Gagauzia and Chuvash, Crimean Tatars and Tatarstan, Kumyk  and Iraqi Turkmen.

I would like to say that it is an honour and a privilege to be here, between such important and committed human rights defenders, as well as good friends; Erkin Alptekin and Rebiya Kadeer, Alim Seytoff, Dolkun Isa and Enver Can.

Fifteen years ago, Uyghurs were among the founders of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), and since then, their inspiration and efforts have markedly contributed to the work of UNPO. Although I would be delighted to elaborate more upon UNPO and the work of the organisation, this is not the purpose of my participation here today.

I would like just to say few things about the dire situation in which Uyghurs in China find themselves. They are oppressed, and they are denied elementary human, political and civil rights.

The Constitution and the 1984 Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law guarantees numerous rights to groups identified as minorities, including self-government within designated autonomous areas; proportional representation in the government; freedom to develop own language, religion, and culture; and power to adjust central directives to local conditions.

But, the Chinese government systematically denies some minorities their legal rights, arbitrarily arresting their members for simply exercising legally protected freedoms.

The Government of China has in particularly failed to uphold the legal rights of minorities living in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region.

Religious freedom in China is denied. Many major human rights violations are continually reported to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

20 million Muslims are de facto denied the right to exercise their fundamental human rights – to freely practice their religion.

The current Chinese Government and the Chinese Communist political system shows less tolerance for autonomous social or political groups than any other regime in Chinese history. A history incidentally not noted for tolerance.

China’s recent policies in response to all its separatist questions – questions in Tibet, in East Turkestan, in Inner Mongolia, in Hong Kong, and in Taiwan, are consistently hard line.

Rather than regarding this as a temporary situation, due perhaps to factional infighting within the CCP, it is probably more accurate that autonomy itself can only be a temporary condition within a centralized, unitary, nationalistic Chinese state.

China, today, greatly fears that self-determination could become a new norm in international relations. China also feared that the doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” was supplanting the doctrine of state sovereignty.

Since 9/11, the international war against terrorism has firmly re-established state sovereignty as the predominant principle in international relations. China has exploited the war against terrorism to justify its repression in East Turkestan.

Despite some small scale progress on the implementation of the rights of minorities, the Chinese Government fails still to achieve a minimal standard of minorities protection in the most important and crucial areas of China.

Dear friends, at a time when anyone in the world is ready to do business with China, and in China, we need to double our effort to request of the international community, and transnational business corporations, that they stand up for and push for freedom and democracy in China, and for freedom and democracy in East Turkestan.

We need to call for an end to executions of young Uyghurs accused as separatists and terrorists simply because they want to be free.

We need to call for the release of the family of Rebya Kadeer, as well as for the thousands of Uyghur political prisoners in China.

Are changes in China going for better? It depends on whether you would like to see the glass half empty or half full. My opinion is that the glass is still fully empty.

UNPO and the Uyghur People are good friends, and as is the case of all long and true friendships, this can be understood without the need for many words.

Thank you.

Speech delivered by UNPO General Secretary Mr. Marino Busdachin to the World Uyghur Congress II General Assembly, on 24 November 2006 in Munich, Germany.