Dec 12, 2005

East Turkestan: World Uyghur Congress Celebrate Human Rights Day

At the occasion of Human Rights Day, 10 December, WUC demand the Chinese government immediately stop violating the fundamental human rights of the Uyghur people and stop using the global war on terrorism to justify the persecution of the Uyghurs

Washington - The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) celebrates the International Human Rights Day and demands the Chinese government to immediately stop violating the fundamental human rights of the Uyghur people and stop using the global war on terrorism to justify the persecution of the Uyghurs.

“This is a great day for the Uyghur people and all the oppressed people in China because this day is a special recognition of their inalienable human rights by the international community,” said Erkin Alptekin, WUC President.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the Chinese government, as one of the members of the United Nations and its Security Council, has no right to violate the fundamental human rights of the Uyghur people and persecute them in the name of global war on terrorism.”

At present, the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Uyghur people including civil, political, cultural, economic and social rights continue to be violated by the Chinese government. Uyghurs demanding to live with dignity are being arrested, tortured and executed after being accused as “separatists,” “religious extremists,” or “terrorists.” Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the U.S., the Chinese government has been aggressively taking advantage of the tragedy and persecuting the Uyghur people even harder, linking their legitimate and peaceful dissent to Beijing’s repressive policies as “ethnic separatism,” “religious extremism,” and “terrorism.

According to the “2004 Annual Human Rights Report,” released by the U.S. State Department last February, the Chinese “government used the international war on terror as a pretext for cracking down harshly on suspected Uighur separatists expressing peaceful political dissent and on independent Muslim religious leaders.” Amnesty International said in its 2004 report that, “China has repackaged its repression of Uighurs as a fight against 'terrorism'.” Human Rights Watch in its most recent report said, “China has opportunistically used the post-September 11 environment to make the outrageous claim that individuals disseminating peaceful religious and cultural messages in Xinjiang are terrorists who have simply changed tactics.”

According to Dr. Manfred Nowak, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, torture in China is “still widespread” and groups including Uyghurs and Tibetans “have been particular targets of torture.” Dr. Nowak made this revelation after visiting detention centers in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Beijing in his recent trip to China. A U.N. statement later said Chinese authorities, over the years, have used various methods of torture including electric shock batons, cigarettes, hoods or blindfolds, submerging prisoners in water or sewage or exposing them to extreme heat or cold.

Survival of oppressed peoples such as the Uyghurs and the Tibetans largely depends on the effectiveness of the United Nations. Thus, creation of a new Human Rights Council at the United Nations, now under discussion, is crucial to voice the ongoing human rights violations of all the oppressed peoples in the world. We, the Uyghurs, on the International Human Rights Day, and in honor of the victims of human rights violations in every corner of the globe, urge the members of the Untied Nations to adopt a General Assembly resolution approving the establishment of a Human Rights Council as soon as possible.