Join us for a side event during the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom by the State Department.
Uyghurs: Oppression for the Sake of Progression in China, hosted by Campaign for Uyghurs and the World Uyghur Congress on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT at Senate Visitor Center 212-210, First St NE, Washington, DC 20515 (At the Capitol Hill Visitor Center)
Opening remarks delivered by Scott Busby (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)
Mike Breen (President and CEO of Human Rights First)
Dolkun Isa (President of the World Uyghur Congress and Vice-President of UNPO)
Sophie Richardson (China Director, Human Rights Watch)
Jewher Ilham (Director of Public Affairs, Campaign for Uyghur)
Moderated by Turdi Hoja (Chairman of the Board, Campaign for Uyghurs)
The Uyghurs are ethnically and culturally Turkic Muslims, who have been under the control of Communist China since 1949. The persecution against the Uyghurs is racially motivated. The PRC’s strategy of building a new Silkroad is causing destruction in their homeland, with 1-3 million Uyghurs in concentration camps and the entire region under a police state. Between trade threats, the power of the Belt and Road Initiative, debt trap diplomacy and manipulation within the U.N., the PRC has become a power able to strong arm the world. The PRC is getting away with today’s largest human right crisis while conducting genocide against the Uyghurs. The speakers in the panel will discuss and address further support and coordination on the Uyghur cause.
To arrive at SVC 212-10, you will enter through the Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) entrance located across from the Supreme Court. To avoid the tourist lines, please inform the officer outside the CVC that you are here for Official Business. A map of the CVC can be found here. Food, liquid, and aerosols are not allowed in the CVC. Once inside the CVC, you will need to check in at the Senate Appointments desk and let them know that you are here for an event in SVC 212-10 at 10:00 AM. They will direct you to the room.
We are celebrating our independence and enjoying our freedom in America today, July 4th. However the Uyghurs throughout the world are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Urumchi massacre and the Uyghurs in their homeland are experiencing tragic nightmare today, July 5th.
The Uyghurs who have great contributions to the world deserve to live free like us. The world promised that a mass human incarceration would never happen again 74 years ago. Unfortunately, the Chinese version of Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps are back in the Uyghurs’ homeland, East Turkestan.
An American middle school student Ian Evans wrote this book for supporting Uyghurs and reminding us how important our freedom and independence are. Ian visited Uyghurs’ homeland years ago and had deep spiritual connections to Uyghur children there. His dream today is to see Uyghur children living in freedom and peace like all American children here. This book is dedicated to every individual who is fighting for the freedom and peace of the Uyghurs. Please download the book from the link below:
On behalf of Campaign for Uyghurs, Jewher Ilham, Director of Public Affairs and Mustafa Aksu, Director of Cultural Affairs met the presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg during his speech at Indiana University. They thanked him for his support for the Uyghur people and kindly asked him to push representatives to support the Uyghur Human Right Policy Act 2019.
(Picture: Kamalturk Yalqun, Dr. Rishat Abbas are speaking with Congressman Chris Smith)
Kamalturk Yalqun is the General Secretary and Chairman of the Youth Committee for Campaign for Uyghurs.
Kamalturk’s Father, Yalqun Rozi, is a famous Uyghur scholar and literary critic. Yalqun Rozi was the chief editor of the Uyghur literature textbooks for middle school and elementary schools. He was sentenced for 15 years in 2018, two years after his arrest, for the “ideological problems” in the textbooks.
After his father’s arrest, Kamalturk became an activist in pursuit of his father’s release. The rapid deterioration and destruction of the basic human rights in East Turkestan and the imprisonment of millions of Uyghurs into concentration camps after his father’s imprisonment widened Kamalturk’s pursuits from the freedom for his father to freedom for the millions of Uyghurs languishing in the concentration camps.
Kamalturk ceaselessly attended protests, gave speeches at rallies and conferences to address the Uyghur human rights crisis. On February 8th at Grand Rapids, Kamalturk gave a speech in a rally against the visiting of Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai. On March 31st, Kamalturk attended a Seminar on held by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to address the perils of Uyghur Muslims in China. Kamalturk met with numerous Senators and Congressmen in person to address the Uyghur human rights crisis and the unjust treatment of his father.
A conference co-hosted by Bitter Winter denounced a global CCP campaign aimed at preventing Chinese refugees from persecuted religious groups from being granted asylum abroad.
Marco Respinti from Bitter Winter
(Picture: Massimo Introvigne, Lea Perekrests, and Nurgul Sawut at the Seoul event.)
China is trying to systematically wipe out all religions which are not controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), refugees and human rights experts told a distinguished audience at the conference “The Long Arm of the Dragon: China’s Persecution of Believers at Home and Abroad,” co-hosted in Seoul on June 20 by the Korean NGO Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL), Brussels-based Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), and Bitter Winter. The experts explained how the CCP aggressively pursues religious believers who leave the country and exerts pressure to block foreign governments from granting them refugee status. The conference marked the United Nations’ World Refugee Day, and included an exhibition of pictures about religious persecution in China, most of them taken from Bitter Winter.
Bitter Winter’s photo exhibition during the Seoul conference
The most extensive persecution is against the Muslim majority in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region. “Over three million Uyghur detainees are being held illegally in concentration camps and more are held in detention centers and prisons,” said Nurgul Sawut, Director of the Board for Campaign for Uyghurs. “What is happening is systematic genocide.” Ms. Sawut, who is based in Australia, said that at least 12 of her own family members in China were in the camps or were unaccounted for.
“It is hard for people to acknowledge the scale of repression in China,” said Lee Il, a refugee rights lawyer with APIL in Seoul. “That is partly because the situation of Uyghurs and other victims is not well known. But it is also because it does not fit the image of modern, civilized, hi-tech, secular China.”
“But the facts are very clear. Given the sheer scale, the repression now presents the greatest threat to human rights in this century. One consequence is that democratic countries are having to develop a response to refugees, not just from impoverished and war-torn countries, but from a major trading partner,” he said.
(Picture: Nurgul Sawut, Board Director of Oceania Outreach for Campaign for Uyghurs)
The repression includes a number of other religions, from Tibetan Buddhism to new religions like Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God, said Massimo Introvigne, editor-in-Chief and founder of Bitter Winter. “The Chinese Communist Party has promoted a massive campaign of fake news aimed at justifying its persecution to international audiences,” he said. “They deny, for example, the harvesting of organs from prisoners of conscience, notably members of Falun Gong. They have spread false accusations against The Church of Almighty God, including that its members were responsible for the murder of a woman in a McDonald’s outlet in 2014, a crime in fact committed by a different religious movement.”
“China also claims that Article 300 of its Criminal Code, which punishes those active in a banned religious group with jail penalties from three to seven years or more, is only enforced against those who commit serious crimes,” Introvigne added. “But this is mere propaganda. Hundreds of decisions against Falun Gong practitioners, members of The Church of Almighty God, Shouters, All Range Church, and other Christian churches, and one recent case involving Jehovah’s Witnesses, prove that Article 300 is used against anybody who spreads the beliefs or the literature of a religious group that is banned in China.”
Justice Asked for Refugees
Some 1,000 members of The Church of Almighty God are seeking asylum in Korea. Two of them described their personal experiences of torture at the seminar. Using the pseudonym Xiao Rui, one woman said that during her brutal torture when she was strung up and beaten for 12 hours, a police officer admitted that official orders permitted them to kill victims. “‘It is nothing to beat them to death’ – this has become a (CCP’s) slogan for persecuting Christians,” she said.
Another woman, “Zhao Lin,” also reported that she was arrested and tortured in China. After she fled to South Korea, she said, the CCP coerced her brother, together with family members of other refugees, to come to Seoul and participate in “false demonstrations,” asking her to “come home.” But in fact, she insisted, those refugees who have returned to China have been arrested and sentenced there, meaning that returning to China is not “going home,” but going to jail instead.
According to The Church of Almighty God figures, 20 members died in 2018 during torture or mistreatment by the police officers.
The experts urged governments around the world to accept that religious believers face arrest and torture if they return to China. As the Beijing authorities are using facial recognition cameras and DNA testing to amass data on believers and their families, it is hard for believers to hide in their home country.
“Religious minorities in China are at high risk of being subject to arrest and torture if they remain in China or if they are deported back to China,” said Lea Perekrests, deputy director of Human Rights Without Frontiers. “China vastly exceeds all other countries in the number of freedom of religion or belief prisoners currently being held,” she said.
Among the methods used against religious prisoners, she said, are “constant surveillance, forced administration of drugs, violent interrogation, severe beating, sleep deprivation and use of ‘torture racks.’” “The research is clear and the legal expectations of China and governments hearing asylum cases are clear,” Perekrests said. “States need to abide by international non-refoulement laws and cease the extradition of Chinese asylum-seekers from religious minorities as they are at grave risk of torture and inhumane treatment should they re-enter China.”
The audience was also able to watch two movies produced by Bitter Winter, the first on Tiananmen and religious persecution in China and the second on how the CCP harasses abroad refugees who escaped religious persecution.
You can see the report from the following link:
Chinese Religious Persecution, Harassment of Refugees Abroad Denounced in Seoul
Press Release – For immediate release
4 July 2019
Contact: Campaign for Uyghurs www.campaignforuyghurs.org
+1.559.375.3571 or email@example.com
Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Urumqi massacre in Urumqi, East Turkistan (Also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). The protests began peacefully as demonstrators called for a full investigation into an incident in Shaoguan, Southern China several days earlier, in which several Uyghurs had been killed by Han Chinese factory workers. Communist China rampaged its military forces and shot at Uyghur protestors and arbitrarily arrested thousands of Uyghurs. Subsequently, the government used the incident as an excuse, to unlawfully abduct Uyghurs for several months after the July 5th massacre and hundreds of Uyghur men disappeared as wide-scale police sweeps heightened. The Financial Times estimated that, some 4,000 arrests had already taken place by mid-July 2009 and that Urumchi’s prisons were so full that newly arrested people were being held in a People’s Liberation Army warehouses. Some accounts say the actual numbers are even higher. Following the incidents, internet access, mobile phone service, and outbound international calls throughout the region were blocked to prevent the flow of information in and out of the area. Internet access, mobile phone service and outbound international calls throughout the region were blocked and the internet was not restored until May 2010.
Ten years ago, the Chinese government got away with such brutality and suppression in front of the entire world. What’s happening on our watch today is the continuation of the Communist government undermining the rule of law, human dignity, and western values.
Today, ten years after the Urumchi massacre, massive systematic human rights abuses perpetrated by communist China has escalated to genocide with three million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Uzbeks and other ethnic groups waiting for death in Chinese concentration camps. Their children are sent to orphanages, where they are raised to forsake Uyghur identity and be loyal to the Chinese Communist Party. Inside of the camps, prisoners are indoctrinated with Communist Party propaganda, forced to renounce Islam and subject to torture and brutal deaths. Despite this blatant human rights abuse and vicious crimes against humanity, Beijing is set for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.
On May 10th, 2019, China launched its 1,000-day countdown to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics with a happy song and dance celebration. The 2008 Beijing Olympic was the period that China gained economic and social attention in the world and was able to create the mass surveillance structure they are now using to suppress Uyghur, Kazakh and other Turkic and other millions of innocent people. The Orwellian state was built with a prestige traditional game of unity, equality, and peacefulness. Should Communist China be rewarded with Olympic games while committing genocide against an ethnicity with racial motivations?
CFU strongly believe that China is the last country in the world to qualify with the principle of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC must acknowledge that moving forward with the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is being complicit with genocide. To award a country that has three million innocent people in concentration camps with the honor of hosting the Olympics is more than being a bystander to the crime, it’s supporting it.
The IOC must safeguard the principals that the Olympics have been built upon. The Olympics is a unique international event. It is not about trade or politics. It’s not about which country has the most power, or the most money. The Olympics are about people coming together to celebrate their differences. A country that has banned cultural identity and language, banned Islam, enforced policies that sexually repress it’s women with forced abortion and erects more than 44 concentration camps to jail an ethnic group does not respect these values.
CFU calls on the international community to take concrete action to address the current atrocity that the entire Uyghur nation is facing and hold China accountable for it is actions. China must close the concentration camps and release all innocent people arbitrary being detained.
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
–Elmer Davis (1890 – 1958)