CFU Commemorates the Victims of the Urumchi Fire



November 24, 4:00 PM ET

Sabrina Sohail:

(650) 703-4523

Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) solemnly commemorates the victims of the tragic Urumchi fire. On November 24, 2022, a devastating fire broke out in the Tengritagh neighborhood of Urumchi, the capital of East Turkistan, claiming the lives of at least 44 Uyghurs, including children. Although the Chinese state media reported only 10 deaths, accounts from residents indicate that the actual toll is significantly higher. 

The devastating consequences of the Urumchi fire were a direct result of the Chinese government’s stringent Zero Covid policy, which imposed severe restrictions on Uyghur communities for over 100 days. The oppressive policies implemented by the Chinese authorities, including the welded-shut doors of Uyghur homes, exacerbated the suffering of trapped Uyghurs, leading to starvation, limited access to medical care, and a surge in suicides due to isolation.

When the fire broke out, residents of the building were unable to escape as doors, including emergency exits, were welded shut. Casualties in the blaze included Qamarnisahan Abdulrahman, 48, and her four children—Shehide, 13, Imran, 11, Abdurrahman, 9, and Nehdiye, 5, among other victims. Following the tragic events, the ‘White Paper Protests’ unfolded with thousands of people across China in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, and globally memorializing the Uyghur victims and expressing dissent against the oppressive anti-virus measures.

Despite the termination of the abusive Covid policies, the Uyghur genocide persists in East Turkistan, alongside the aftermath of the ‘White Paper Protests.’ The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persists in its oppressive treatment of Uyghurs including forced labor, cultural assimilation, and arbitrary detentions. Kamile Wayit, a 19-year-old Uyghur student, was sentenced for baseless charges of ‘advocating extremism’ due to her online sharing of a protest video. Kamile continues to be detained to this day.

CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas remarked in honor of the occasion “Today, we extend our deepest prayers and condolences to those who lost their lives in the tragic fire and to their grieving families. The Urumchi Fire is a stark reminder of the CCP’s blatant disregard for human life and its ongoing full-fledged genocide of the Uyghur people. It is crucial to hold onto the memory of this tragic event, resisting the CCP’s attempts to rewrite history.” 

CFU calls on the Chinese government to provide complete clarity on the real situation of the Urumchi fire and release all political prisoners detained due to the White Paper Protests. CFU also strongly encourages the international community to join hands with Uyghurs around the world to commemorate the victims of the Urumchi Fire and advocate for the end of the Uyghur Genocide. 



Campaign for Uyhgurs

We defend the human rights of uyghur people and the free world by exposing and confronting the chinese government's genocide, and empowering uyghur women and youth in the diaspora.



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