Nov 01, 2007

Hajj Campaign 2007

Chinese Muslims Still Cannot Make it to Mecca

The Hague, 10 December 2007China turns a deaf ear to an appeal sent by human rights organizations and members of the European Parliament on the right of Muslims to conduct the pilgrimage to Mecca. Each of China’s Muslims can go to Mecca – as long as s/he remains true to Communism and pays a hefty deposit.

This year again, large numbers of China’s Muslims will not be allowed to conduct the pilgrimage to Mecca. One of the five pillars of Islam, the Hajj is a fundamental duty for all able-bodied Muslims, but Chinese law, while theoretically protecting freedom of religion, operates a de facto selection of candidates to the Hajj on the basis of political beliefs and wealth.

Spearheaded by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), the Vice-President of the European Parliament, prominent Parliamentarians as well as many human rights NGOs, an appeal for the right to conduct the Hajj was sent to Chinese authorities in October. Despite their acknowledged receipt of the document, they have failed to respond. Few days ahead of the Hajj (which will begin on 18 December) there is little hope left for China’s Muslims.

On 10 December 2007, human rights activists from all four corners of the world met in the Hague, The Netherlands. In order to underline the anniversary of the International Day of Human Rights, the UNPO, in conjunction with Rebiya Kadeer’s World Uyghur Congress, organized a group demonstration at the Dutch Parliament. By-passers merged with human rights defenders and activists alike to denounce the blatant impossibility of Chinese Muslims –Uyghurs– to participate to the Islamic pilgrimage to the Mecca. Hundreds of white roses were given before marching in solidarity to the Chinese Embassy. Once arrived, a traditional Islamic prayer was given by local Imams while followers bowed in sobriety towards the Mecca. 

Earlier that day, Dutch Foreign Affairs veteran, Harry van Bommel, was invited to discuss with the UNPO and exiled Uyghurs from The Netherlands. A number of sensitive, China-related subjects were addressed. Among other topics, the current human rights violations regarding religious freedoms were raised. Mr. van Bommel replied that there is nothing that “shouldn’t be discussed in a dialogue with China”, including the situation of the Uyghurs and their travels to Mecca. Furthermore, van Bommel stated that he would make sure to discuss this issue with the Dutch Ambassador for human rights.



Signatories to date:




Marco Cappato MEP

Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Human Rights 


Edward McMillan-Scott MEP

Vice-President of the European Parliament and member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights


Agnoletto Vittorio MEP

Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Human Rights


Ana Maria Gomes MEP

Committee on Foreign Affairs, Vice-Chairwoman Subcommittee on Security and Defence


István Szent-Iványi MEP

Committee on Foreign Affairs


International Society for Human Rights


Dr Willy Fautré

Human Rights Without Frontiers


World Uyghur Congress 


Giorgio Schultze

President of the European Humanist International


Union of European Turkish Democrats    


Wei Jingsheng

Chinese Dissident & Sakharov Prize Winner


Federatie van Idealistisch Democratische Turkse Organisaties Nederland 


Contactorgaan Moslim en Overheid         


Uyghur American Association


Eastern Turkistan Foundation in Istanbul 


Eastern Turkistan Culture and Solidarity Association        


Eastern Turkistan Culture and Solidarity Association

Ankara Section      


Isa Yusup Alptekin Foundation   


East Turkistan Union in Europe  


East Turkistan Union in Europe

Frankfurt Section


Uyghur Canadian Association    


Swedish Uyghur Committee      


Uyghur UK Association           


Netherlands Eastern Turkistan Foundation          


Norway Uyghur Committee


Ittipak Uigur Society of the Kyrgyz Republic        


Bishkek Human Rights Committee    


Uyghur Youth Union in Kazakhstan  


Society Union of Uyghur National Association (Kazakhstan)     


Australian Uyghur Association   


Kazakhstan Representative of World Uyghur Congress     


Turkey Representative of World Uyghur Congress


Stichting Selam Netwerk 


Stichting Avrasya     


Sweden Uyghur Education Centre


International Pen Uyghur Centre


Per Engstrom

Amnesty International, Sweden


Netherlands Turkish Youth Association


World Uyghur Congress Committee


Turkevi Research Centre


Kuriren Newspaper (Sweden)


Turkish-Dutch Student Association

Stichting Khorlo


Niccolo Figa-Talamanca

Program Director, No Peace Without Justice


Mr Bob Fu

China Aid Association


Nederlandse Azerbeidzjaanse Turkse Culturele Vereniging


Elisabetta Zamparotti

Hands Off Cain


Ohad Shem Tov

Green Leaf Party, Israel


Arnold Trebach

Drug Policies Foundation


Sergio Stanzani

President of the Nonviolent Radical Party


Khastani Abdollahi

Parti Democratique du Kurdistan d'Iran


Boladai Nasser

Balochistan Peoples Party


Ciping Huang

Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition


Ali Salem

Panorama Center, Israel


Nfor Ngala Nfor

Southern Cameroons National Council


Vanida Thephsouvanh

Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l'Homme


Annalisa Chirico

Luca Coscioni Association


Giannandrea Dagnino

Hands Off Cain


M. Gigliolatoniollo

CGIL Nazionale- Settore Nuovi Diritti


Mohammed Daar

Ambassador of Somaliland in Brussels


A. Anselmi

Union of European Federalists


Boaz Wachtel

Green Leaf Party, Israel


Adrian Karatnysky

President, Orange Circle


Giorgio Silfer

Esperanto Civito


Maxim Gunjia

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia


Vien Thach

Khmer Krom Federation for Europe


Rene Morfaw

Southern Cameroons National Council


Mr Belleloni MP

Radical Party (Italy)


Nila Orsi

Nonviolent Radical Party


Sergio Puguoli

Nonviolent Radical Party


Pieru Capone

Nonviolent Radical Party


Werther Casali

Nonviolent Radical Party


Claudio Cherardissi

Nonviolent Radical Party


Rita Benandini

Nonviolent Radical Party


Lorenzo Strik Lievers

Nonviolent Radical Party


Mr. Spadaccia

Nonviolent Radical Party


Giuseppe Rippa

Associazione Arabi Democratici Liberali


Matta Pisetta

Nonviolent Radical Party


Romano Scozzafava

University La Sapienza, Roma, Italy


Silvia Lenzi

Research Center and Consultancy, Pisa, Italy


Luca Perelo

Nonviolent Radical Party


Enver Can

Honorary President of the World Uyghur Congress


Alessandro Rosasco

Nonviolent Radical Party


Alfredo Cortese

Nonviolent Radical Party


Franco Cupini

Nonviolent Radical Party


Marola Luca

Nonviolent Radical Party


Lucchari Maria Carzali

Nonviolent Radical Party


Biancardi Guido

Nonviolent Radical Party


Also Signori

Nonviolent Radical Party


Giulia Simi

Nonviolent Radical Party


Francesco Napoleoni

Nonviolent Radical Party