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Husein Dzhelil standing in front of the Canadian Parliament buildings, Ottawa, Ontario, May2005.
 
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Third General Assembly of the World Uyghur Congress held in Washington, DC  -(090523)
 
Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, Uyghur democracy leader and WUC president, said “Uyghur Week in Washington, DC is a milestone for the Uyghur people as they aspire for human rights, democracy and freedom in East Turkestan. The opening of the World Uyghur Congress Third General Assembly at the U.S. Capitol has profound historical significance and symbolism; Uyghurs across the world look to the United States and its representatives as leaders in the struggle against tyranny and repression. Accordingly, members of the U.S. Senate and House, as well as dignitaries, prominent human rights defenders, and leaders of the Tibetan and Chinese communities will address Uyghur congressional delegates and their supporters from around the world.”

THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY

OF THE THIRD GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF

THE WORLD UYGHUR CONGRESS HELD


MAY 21, 2009

TIME: 09:30 a.m. – 01:00 p.m.

VENUE: The Congressional Meeting Room South
The United States Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515
HOST: Mr. Alim Seytoff, WUC Executive Chairman

09:30 – 09:40 The Official Opening of the General Assembly

09:40 – 09:50 The National Anthems of East Turkestan & the USA

09:50 – 10:00 Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, WUC President

10:00 – 10:10 The Honorable Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Member of Congress

10:10 – 10:25 The Honorable Chris Smith, Member of Congress

10:25 – 10:40 The Honorable Frank Wolf, Member of Congress

10:40 – 10:55 The Honorable Bill Delahunt, Member of Congress

10:55 – 11:10 The Honorable James McGovern, Member of Congress

11:10 – 11:25 The Honorable Sherrod Brown, Member of Senate

11:25 – 11:35 Ms. Barbara Haig, NED Vice-President

11:35 – 11:50 Mr. Hans Hogrefe, Director of TLHRC

11:50 – 12:05 Ms. Kara Abramson, CECC Advocacy Director

12:05 – 12:20 Mr. Marino Busdachin, UNPO General Secretary

12:20 – 12:35 Mr. T. Kumar, Asia Director of Amnesty International USA

12:35 – 12:50 Mr. Bhuchung Tsering, Vice-President of ICT

12:50 – 01:00 Ms. Tienchi, Director of the Laogai Research Foundation


BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES OF THE SPEAKERS

Three Years Working Report

of the

World Uyghur Congress


(An Exclusive Report to the Third General Assembly)

Dolkun Isa

Secretary General



In order to meet the new challenges and strong demands of the people of East Turkestan, the two major organizations in exile, the East Turkestan (Uyghuristan) National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress, merged to form a historic authoritative organ, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), in April 2004, in Munich, Germany. The new organization would coordinate action and promote and worldwide the Uyghur human rights and democracy movement.


The achievements and progress made by the leadership of the WUC in its first executive period of 2004-2006 demonstrate the importance of integrating the separated but similarly focused Uyghur political fractions in exile. The indispensability of forming the long desired and much needed amalgamated structure led by the united body for international Uyghur human rights and democracy movements is proved by the successes achieved since the Second General Assembly (a.k.a. the 5th National Assembly of the East Turkestan people) of the WUC was convened in November 2006.


During a four-day meeting, representatives of the WUC’s member organizations from all around the world discussed proposals made by various committees of the WUC, i.e. the Committee for Diaspora Affairs, the Committee for Political Affairs, the Committee for Information and Publication, the Committee for Organizational Affairs, the Committee for Financial Affairs, and the Committee for Education, Culture and Religion. The delegates also reviewed future plans and projects and adopted several important resolutions of great significance regarding our current situation.


A new WUC Executive Board was elected, which has opened a new page for the internationalization of the Uyghur human rights and democracy campaign.


Under the leadership of Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, the new and united WUC executive board has steered the organization systematically and effectively, and has geared its efforts toward WUC’s mission. Regardless of great internal difficulties such as extremely limited resources, the Executive Board continued organizational activities with great courage, and with firm and sustainable commitments achieving considerable successes.


In the past three years, the WUC has made considerable efforts for the Uyghur human rights and democracy campaign worldwide; including, the organization of worldwide campaigns to raise awareness and acknowledgement of the international community towards the Uyghur plight, the acceleration of the internationalization of the Uyghur issue, and the defeat of Chinese conspiracies libeling Uyghur dissident activities with “terrorism” in order to defame and destroy the international Uyghur human rights and democracy campaign. Furthermore, the WUC took the united-command-action system as its main avenue within the organization, set up a modernized leadership mechanism, motivated the members of the Diaspora and increased their accountability in the field worldwide against the Chinese communist regime. Meanwhile, the campaigns of the organization are also being driven to be more professional and efficient. As a result of its unremitting contributions, the WUC has gained broad respect and a firm reputation amongst the international community, and was acknowledged as the sole leadership body that truly represents the interest of the Uyghur people worldwide.


With the continuous and effective advocacy for the Uyghur cause led by WUC President Rebiya Kadeer and other WUC leaders, there have been more notable breakthroughs in the understanding of Uyghur situation among world communities. Furthermore, the plight of the Uyghur people began to attract the open sympathy of democratic countries and even garnered considerable political support by democratic governments. Today the Uyghur issue no longer remains as “unknown issue” and the Uyghur people are no longer an “unknown nation”.


By receiving Uyghur leaders on influential occasions, the major democratic powers of the world have showed their sympathy and support to the Uyghur cause, and at times openly criticized China’s unfair handling of the Uyghur people and discriminatory policies towards the entire nation.


Former U.S. President George W. Bush twice received Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, the leader and spiritual “mother” of the Uyghur people. In a “Democracy and World Security Forum” held in Prague, the Czech Republic, President Bush praised Ms. Rebiya Kadeer as an individual who has struggled for freedom, democracy and human rights in the face of tyranny. Furthermore, a number of heads of states, including Canadian Prime Minister Right Hon. Stephan Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Hon. Shinzo Abe, scores of influential political figures like UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan, and the chairs of several national parliaments have received Ms. Rebiya Kadeer as the president of the WUC. These mark another major breakthrough for the WUC in gaining international recognition for the legitimacy of the international Uyghur human rights and democracy campaign.

The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) ruthless crackdown of all political and religious dissent among Uyghurs in East Turkestan has continued for more than a decade in the name of “Strike Hard Campaigns”. Crackdowns have further intensified since 9/11 with the “War Against Terror”. This severe and systematic crackdown has resulted stigmatization, segregation and isolation of the entire Uyghur people economically, socially, politically and culturally.

In such harsh conditions, the WUC has conducted successful campaigns to inform the governments and parliaments of countries like the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Turkey, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, as well as international bodies such as the UN and the European Parliament. The international community was presented with the truth behind PRC lies and was cautioned to be prudent about Chinese conspiracies.

Following the continual and effective work in this regard made by the WUC and its President Rebiya Kadeer, resolutions regarding the severe human rights abuses of the Uyghur people by the PRC government were passed by the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament in 2007. In addition, a “14 Point Proposal” concerning the desperate situation of the Uyghur people was discussed at the German Parliament. These successes have further strengthened the reputation and position of the international Uyghur human rights and democracy campaign.

The WUC uniquely positioned itself in continual calls for the boycotting of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and laid down solid evidence as to why the PRC was not qualified to host the Olympic Games as the games have always been the symbol of friendship, equality and peace among nations. However, the WUC had long been long-standing in its call for the IOC to not grant the PRC the prestige of hosting the most important sports event unless substantial political reforms take place in China, which secure fundamental political and religious rights for its citizens through the adoption of international norms of freedom. It became evident that one of the most important and prestigious sports events had been hijacked by China for its political propaganda and it’s purpose of “image refreshment”.

During the Olympic games period, the WUC joined with and echoed many human rights organizations and other concerned NGOs worldwide who were protesting the Chinese government’s dismal human rights record and unmasking the PRC’s behind-the-scenes mass arrests, detention and execution of Uyghurs political and religious activists in East Turkestan under the guise of Olympic security.


The WUC has effectively participated in various UN bodies to bring much needed attention to the worsening situation of Uyghurs in East Turkestan. The WUC submitted detailed reports on Chinese treatment of Uyghurs in East Turkestan to the United Nations Committee against Torture during the official review of the implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture in the PRC, which was convened in November 2008, and the UN High Commission for Human Right’s (UNHCR) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which convened in February 2009. Both processes have drawn considerable attention from member states, and the WUC made successful representation in Geneva at both events.


As the highest representative organ for the democracy and human rights movement of Uyghur people, the WUC initiated in 2007 a “Uyghur Leadership Training Program on Human Rights and Democracy” funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to further strengthen the capacity of Uyghur leaders and activists around the world in understanding the basic concepts of international laws and mechanisms, and in enlightening their vision to explore ways of finding a peaceful solution to the East Turkestan problem within international law. Three phases of training program have been successfully organized over the past three years with presentations by internationally reknown experts, which have provided a unique learning opportunity for young Uyghurs activists to achieve considerable professionalism in their future campaigns.


Furthermore, a number of international visits undertaken by Ms. Rebiya Kadeer and other WUC leaders over the past years have also significantly contributed to the introduction and advocacy of the Uyghur cause and formed a positive international consensus.

Following are brief summaries of achievements made by the WUC in the past three years:

1. Relationships with foreign governments and parliaments.

The WUC has made considerable effort over the years in developing good relationships with foreign governments and parliaments. Sustaining such a relationship with friendly nations worldwide has been the top priority of the World Uyghur Congress, and it will continue to be the top priority in the future utilizing the solid base built in recent years.


The WUC has been consistent in its efforts to explore the ways and possibilities of building solid and long term relationships with nations and countries that can be influential and instrumental in the pursuit of achieving the mission of the Uyghur freedom movement.

Led by President Rebiya Kadeer, the WUC leadership has respectively visited these countries: Canada, the U.S., Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, the Ukraine, Poland, the Czech republic, the U.K, Turkey, Austria, France, Denmark, Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Italy, Australia, Japan, Philippine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and others.

During these visits, WUC leaders have held special meetings and discussions with scores of high-level government officials, leaders and influential members of parliament, including Presidents, Prime Ministers and Speakers. In all talks, by addressing the urgent issues of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan, WUC leaders submitted detailed reports, proposals on the human rights situation of the Uyghur people and appealed to governments to take action on behalf of Uyghurs. These efforts positively resulted in increasing awareness and sympathy of political leaders to the Uyghur people and their situation. Moreover on various occasions, some democratic countries raised their concerns regarding Uyghurs with their Chinese counterparts and urged them to respect the right and fundamental freedom of the Uyghur people. A number of parliaments have passed resolutions condemning Chinese violations of the fundamental rights of the Uyghur people and at the same time demanding Chinese government to take urgent action to rectify its discriminatory policy towards Uyghurs.


The PRC authorities, from time to time, have mobilized diplomatic pressure to defame Ms. Rebiya Kadeer and other prominent Uyghurs activists with distorted and fabricated “terrorism” charges, and tried blackmailing democratic countries to enforce travel restrictions on WUC leaders for any formal visits. With the continuous support by hundreds of Members of the European Parliament, this political intrigue of the PRC was once again defeated in 2007, when more than 60 Uyghur democratic leaders convened a meeting at the European Parliament and were warmly received by the Parliamentarians. The reception of Ms. Rebiya Kadeer as a guest of honor by distinguished world leaders in number of Western countries has sent a strong signal to the failed policies of the Chinese government. These positive outcomes are in fact a confirmation and recognition of the WUC on the world stage as the legitimate voice of the entire Uyghur people both at home and abroad.

2. Co-operation with international organizations


WUC has recognized the importance of building close working relationships and solidarity with international organizations since day one of its establishment. In the past three years, co-operation with international organizations in human rights campaigns has been substantially strengthened and reached new levels of interaction. Working relationships of the WUC with prominent international organizations, include, but are not limited to, Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Association for Threatened People (GfbV), UNITED, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), Rafto Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Human Rights In China (HRIC), Interfaith International and others.

A significant number of international activities have been organized in close collaboration with those organizations. These collaborations have played a positive role in broadening the influence of Uyghur democratic activities worldwide and have also created great sympathy and interest in the understanding of the Uyghur cause. The WUC voluntarily shared reports and up-to-date information on the human rights situation of East Turkestan with variety of organizations worldwide. As a result of these close engagements, a number of international human rights organizations have taken up the Uyghur human rights issue on their agenda and promoted it through their worldwide networks.

In addition, WUC leaders have attended and presented reports and papers in hundreds of international conferences organized by NGOs, political parties, academic and research institutions, universities and parliaments.

3. News and publicity work

The WUC has long considered work on news and publicity as one of the organization’s key tasks. Therefore, regardless of it’s very limited financial and human resources, the WUC effectively carried out publicity efforts and achieved notable results.

Since the launch of its official Uyghur and English languages website in 2005, the WUC has constantly upgraded the service quality of this important news channel and added Chinese, German and Japanese language pages to reach out to a wider audience. The WUC website has always been a source of reliable, accurate and timely information about the human rights situation of East Turkestan, unbiased analyses of prominent experts, reports on the WUC, and the activities of its member organizations. Today, the WUC’s website is visited 40,000 to 50,000 times daily.


The News and Publication Center of the WUC is publishing materials about Uyghur history, culture, politics, economics, society, and the human rights situation of East Turkestan in various formats and in English and German. In addition, a selection of excellent books, articles and Uyghur-related publications also are being translated into the Uyghur language to introduce them to Uyghur readers.

Short documentaries about the WUC, Uyghur history, and culture, as well as East Turkestan flags, badges, T-shirts, boycott the Beijing Olympic Games ballons, various logos, and souvenirs are short list of the materials that the News and Publication center has produced with very limited resources. The 2009-2010 calendar containing brief information on Uyghur history, historic events and historic figures has been published and distributed to international organizations, senior members of governments, influential members of various parliaments, and sympathizers of the Uyghur cause as the WUC’s new year present.

4. Media Relations


As a legitimate voice of Uyghurs in East Turkestan, the WUC has become and continues to be a unique source and epicenter of information from a Uyghur perspective for domestic and international media outlets. Over the past years, various media outlets, universities, research centers and independent observers have contacted the WUC for reports, analyses, comments, updates and clarification from the Uyghur standpoint on number of issues related to Chinese policy in East Turkestan as events unfold. Leaders of member organizations of the World Uyghur Congress have frequently appeared on TV, Radio, and given newspaper interviews around the world and effectively counterbalanced Chinese attempts to spread false propaganda about the peaceful opposition of Uyghurs against Chinese rule. It was especially true prior and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics as China intensified its security crackdown in various cities of East Turkestan targeting peaceful Uyghur dissenters and protestors by associating them with exaggerated, unfounded and in same cases totally fabricated “terrorist” charges in order to justify harsh treatment.

This kind of continual publicity of the Uyghurs, their identity, culture and human rights situation has helped to make the Uyghur cause known and let the pleas of the Uyghur people be heard by the international community. Particularly, major news coverage of Uyghurs and the happenings in East Turkestan during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games gave global publicity to the Uyghur issue, and drew people’s interest to the common concerns of Uyghurs.

In the past three years, WUC leader’s direct quotes of analysis, comments, updates to news programs directly linked to countless world media outlets, such as CNN, BBC, ZDF, Reuters, AP, Al-Jazeera, CBC, ARD, TBS has increased significantly.


Since President Obama’s executive order for the closure within a year of the Guantanamo detention facilities in Cuba, the media’s attention has once more focused on the 17 Uyghurs detainees in Guantanamo.


The WUC has played a crucial role in providing background information for those 17 Uyghurs in Guantanamo and highlighted the reasons that drove them to flee from China to Pakistan in the first place. By continuously reporting the still uncertain future and destiny of these Uyghurs, the international media has projected the desperate situation of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan. During this period, the broad range of international media coverage about the Uyghur issue included hundreds of news articles, TV/radio interviews, and special stories in magazine columns written in numerous languages including English, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, Italian, and Spanish.


5. Work on the Political, Cultural and Educational Front


Legitimacy of the WUC as the highest and sole representative organ for the voice of Uyghurs in East Turkestan is firm and clear in the hearts and minds of Uyghurs around the world. This is in fact the driving force and strength of the WUC in unifying supporters under the mission that it is undertaking to find a peaceful, everlasting, and long overdue solution to the problem of East Turkestan in democratic and acceptable ways.


The principal stance and legitimacy of the WUC in leading the Uyghur human rights and democracy campaign, which was constituted by East Turkestan organizations in exile around the world, was generally accepted and the opinions of our people towards the organization have solidified over the years. Today, the WUC is the sole representative organ of the Uyghur human rights and democracy movement and the collective interests of the Uyghur people, which was consolidated by all East Turkestan organizations and acknowledged and respected by the international community


Internal unity of our people, inter-organizational cooperation and solidarity between our member organizations around the world has been and will be the key for the continuing success of the World Uyghur Congress in achieving its mission. For the first time in the short history of the freedom movement of East Turkestan, only the WUC has succeeded in bringing all the fractions and organizations under one umbrella and unified them in action and mission for common purposes. From such a position of leadership, the WUC paid substantial attention to unify the actions of all the umbrella organizations and to facilitate and strengthen inter-organizational communication and collaboration.


Mobilization of member organizations around the world in various campaigns on set dates and times for announced purposes has only been possible with the leadership of WUC. Such mass mobilization was demonstrated during the rally prior to and after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, various commemorations of historic events and tragedies such as the Baren uprising, the Ghulja massacre, and rallies on international events of significance with other organizations.


During the 2008 Beijing Olympics alone, the WUC organized more than 120 protest rallies and demonstrations around the world to seize the movement to raise the fundamental concerns of Uyghurs in East Turkestan under Chinese rule.


The WUC has emphasized great importance on promoting the cultural, traditional, religious and social values of Uyghurs among the younger generation of Diaspora members. On National Day of the East Turkestan Republic and many other religious, national festivals for Uyghur people, the WUC has organized many cultural and commemoration events to celebrate together in order to strengthen the national unity, love, friendship and coherence within the Diaspora. This kind of promotion and effort has positively contributed to the understanding of Uyghur culture and ethnic identity, especially in the current exiled and isolated situation Uyghurs find themselves in.


Special effort and proposals have been made over the past years for raising Uyghur children within their national culture, and giving them an opportunity in mother tongue education.

As the PRC authorities fiercely extend the scale of cultural genocide against the Uyghur people in East Turkestan, every faithful Uyghur is being forced to seriously consider the future and the very existence of their nation and the next generation. Outside of East Turkestan too, keeping the Uyghur national identity and unique culture heritage is becoming a sensitive issue among the Diaspora, which is very small in number and scale especially in the U.S. and Europe where the core of the Uyghur human rights and democracy movement resides. Therefore, it became urgently necessary for everyone in the Uyghur Diaspora to take proper action to raise their children within the Uyghur identity and to secure the continuity of our campaigns in the future. With this goal in mind, the WUC issued a call to all of its member organizations to prepare facilities in order to provide Uyghur children in their local community with necessary cultural and language training. Directly set up by the WUC and since 2005, the special training program for Uyghur youth growing up in Germany is still successfully running today. A special introductory course textbook of the Uyghur language was also prepared as part of the WUC’s efforts for Uyghur children, which filled a long-existing gap.


Strongly promoted by the WUC, various sized schools for Uyghur children are being set up one after another in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Turkey and Pakistan to begin to educate those young members of the Diaspora about the Uyghur language, culture, history and religion. As part of its patriotic education, these schools also teach children the history, geography, culture and current situation of East Turkestan. A number of knowledge contests and relevant cultural activities were also specially organized for these children to increase their interest in their cultural heritage and to motivate them to practice it.

The PRC authorities’ have intensified and committed campaigns of cultural genocide over the Uyghur people in East Turkestan by systematically targeting the Uyghur language, history, culture and religious beliefs, which are all in imminent threat. As a response to this campaign, the WUC has taken this issue seriously and adopted necessary measures for the promotion of the national identity, cultural and religious heritage of the Uyghurs, as well as other historic figures and events among the younger Uyghur generation through various ways, including dedicated cultural windows in websites, internet-based TV programs, online and printed publications, and periodic cultural events with mass participation.


Now unified textbooks, DVD films and online tools are available for parents to teach Uyghur language and cultural values to their children. Also recently published cartoon based on Uyghur fairy-tales and ancient legends are great source for our younger generation to learn about our past.

To further promote our cultural and religious values among younger generations, the WUC has always supported innovative ways and approaches in educating our children in a dynamic environment. Various knowledge competitions and contests organized for younger generations have created a platform for them to present, exchange and learn about our national values, including knowledge of our past and present, distinguished culture, traditions and religious belief etc…


This motivation and cultural survival campaign will continue and be expanded all around the world.

6. Work on immigration and Diaspora affairs

During its 2nd General Assembly in 2007, the WUC has conducted specific discussions on Diaspora and immigration affairs and identified the Uyghur refugee problem as an urgent matter to be addressed. As a result of this emergency and to deal with a crisis that has international magnitude as the majority of Uyghur refuges are scattered in number of countries neighboring East Turkestan, the WUC decided to establish a specific committee. Since its establishment, the Diaspora and Refugee committee has done a tremendous amount of work in data collection, identity verification and responding to the emergency needs of those Uyghur refugees in collaboration with other international organizations and governments. As the reputation of WUC increases and people both in and outside East Turkestan gradually trust and faith in the organization and its works, the Uyghur refugees begin to ask help and assistances whenever and wherever they have difficulties. WUC has extended necessary assistances, despite it’s very limited capacity and own difficulties, in order to meet the needs of the Uyghurs fled out of PRC or living in a third country. In special cases, the WUC even dispatch personals to visit Uyghurs who live in difficult situations and help them financially to ease their economic burdens and exert many efforts to facilitate the settlement of their various problems.

Almost all neighboring States to East Turkestan such as Pakistan, Kyrgyzystan and Kazakhstan, where majority of Uyghur refuges temporarily stationed, have compromised to China’s demand of repatriating Uyghur refuges back to China, largely due to fear of loosing economical, financial and political incentives offered by China to them. In such, Uyghur refuges have become trade commodities in relationship of Pakistan, Krygyzstan and Kazakhstan with China. Despite such an unfavorable situation, WUC has actively engaged with UN High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR), governments, parliaments or diplomatic missions of those countries where the Uyghur seek political asylum and international human rights organizations in order to facilitate the process of the Uyghur political asylum seekers and their related affairs. Ms. Rebiya Kadeer also visited the offices of UNHCR several times and submitted reports on critical situation of Uyghur political asylum seekers, and appealed the authorities to draw special attention and extent all necessary assistances to their difficulties. As a result, many cases of Uyghur political asylum seekers were positively concluded and granted political asylum status.

Every year, especially during the important Muslim festivals like Ramadan or Eid ul-Ada, the WUC has mobilized the Uyghur communities in several countries to organize charity campaigns for those needy brothers and sisters in order to ease their difficulties and deliver them the warmness of the united Uyghur family. Furthermore, the WUC and all its member organizations extended many kind of assistance such as providing legal aids and translation services, advising and solving their various problems, writing confirmations or references letters to their political activities to the immigrants and political asylum seekers from East Turkestan.

7. Press Statements and Calls for Action

The WUC has been closely observing and analyzing all political events especially those regional or global changes which directly or indirectly affect the political, economical, social and cultural situation of East Turkestan, and immediately respond sudden events and explain the WUC position.


Especially during the Beijing Olympics, the international Media closely observed and broadly covered the position and statements of the WUC. During that special period, the WUC has made instant press statements in English, German, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese languages to explain the stance of the organization and provide accurate information on happenings in East Turkestan.

WUC also called its member organizations to take actions to for important events. Today, a unified and mature command and action system is in place to guarantee the decisions of the WUC being smoothly transferred and implemented. Accordingly, the organizations under the leadership of WUC become even more eager and ready for taking and implanting responsibilities

8. Activities in the United Nations (UN)

One of the main focuses of the WUC activities during the past three years was to contribute the internationalization of the Uyghur cause and to push it to the UN agenda. The WUC set high priority to the efforts necessary for this goal and made considerable works. Among others, by collaborating with the international human rights organizations that have UN observatory status, the WUC has respectively organized conferences in the UN, met with high level officials of the UNHCR and other relevant Committees, submitted special reports on several subjects under the UN framework, lobbied the representatives of scores of democratic countries at the UN in order to raise awareness towards the worsening situation of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan.

Very recently, a special report on the situation of torturing, mishandling and other forms of crucial treatment of Uyghur prisoners and prisoners of conscious and conditions of the prisons in the East Turkestan was prepared in collaboration with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and it was accepted by the UN Commission Against Torture (CAT). Besides that, a WUC delegation attended the UNCAT’s formal session to review the implementation of UN Convention Against Torture and situation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the PRC. During the session, the WUC delegation held a speech to address the critical situation of Uyghur prisoners in East Turkestan. The reports and questions raised by the WUC have played important role during the UN examination of PRC.

The WUC highly regarded the importance of using the relevant UN mechanism to push the Uyghur issue to the UN. As being one of the key elements of the new UN Human Rights Council and a key instrument for safeguarding the human rights and freedom, the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years and which reminds responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. In this regard, the WUC has made several important activities. A special report prepared by the WUC and the Uyghur American Association (UAA) was submitted to the UNUPR Committee and it was listed on the official UN website along with other accredited reported on the same subject. Regarding the coming UPR session, the WUC made considerable and effective lobbying campaigns in close collaboration with the UNPO to those diplomats and representatives of scores of UN Member States in Berlin and at the UN Office in Geneva respectively. During the period, the WUC team has met with high level diplomatic and representatives of total 35 countries respectively, among which the EU Member States, member countries of the UN Human Rights Council and UPR Committee. As a result of such intensive diplomatic engagement of the WUC, countries like Czech Republic, Australia, Japan, Canada, Switzerland etc. specifically raised the Uyghur issue in their three-minute oral statements during the official UPR session at the UN Office in Geneva. In addition, some other countries like UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway etc. also raised the Uyghur human rights issue in their written reports, which were later submitted to the UPR Commission. For the first time, the Uyghur issue is raised by the UN Member States openly at an exclusive UN meeting. By using its very limited resources and capabilities and the successful advocacy of the Uyghur human rights situation, total 9 member states have raised the Uyghur issue in an official UN meeting in different forms. This is not only a real success for the WUC’s efforts at the UN level, but also a success for the Uyghur people, whose plight is being heard in the international community.

9. Boycotting the Beijing Olympics and relevant activities

As it was competing for the Olympic Bid of 2008, the PRC government had made big promises to the Olympic Committee and the international community to improve human rights situation in the country. But unfortunately, as soon as it was granted the honor to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in 2008 in their capital, the PRC has even tightened up its iron grip on the freedom of the people and the human rights abuses in PRC reached an unprecedented scale around the Olympic period. Soon after the brutal crackdown of Tibetan uprising in March 2008, in order to keep the Uyghur people quite, the PRC authorities declared a state of emergency in East Turkestan and wildly pursue its policy of spreading state terror by launching mass scaled arbitrary detention campaigns, extra judiciary sentencing and executing scores of Uyghur dissidents. Alone in the Hoten Prefecture of East Turkestan, the peaceful demonstration of the Uyghur women was violently cracked down, and 700 more Uyghur women were arrested. Until today their whereabouts are remains unknown.


Plenty of evidences of severe human rights abuses by the PRC using the name of Olympic games once again showed the world why the PRC was not qualified for the host of Olympic games, which is the symbol of friendship, equality and peace among the nations. The WUC has continuously appealed the international community not to honor the PRC by granting it the title of hosting the most important sports event. Later developments have proven the warnings of the WUC’s call for boycotting the 2008 Beijing Olympics was evident. In 2007, the WUC Executive Committee decided to set up a special committee to lead its global efforts for appealing the international community to draw attention on the human rights abuses of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan, calling for the boycott of Beijing Olympics and the Olympic Torch Relay across East Turkestan soil. During the course of campaigns, the WUC also initiated a “Freedom Touch for the East Turkestan” activity and mobilized all member organizations to actively take part in this campaign. As a result, scores of anti-Beijing Olympics activities have been organized and these have positively contributed the awareness raising of the international community towards the Uyghur people and human rights situation in East Turkestan.

10. Uyghur Leadership Training Seminar on Democracy and Human Rights

Another systematic effort of the WUC over the past three years was the implementation of its annual Uyghur Leadership Training Seminar on Democracy and Human Rights program, which has been generously financed by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In order to strengthen the efforts of the global campaign for human rights and democracy for the Uyghur people, increase the capability of Uyghur democracy leaders and speed up the peaceful resolution of the East Turkestan issue under the framework of international law, since 2007 the WUC initiated a “Uyghur Leaders Training” program. After it successfully organized the first phase of the program in the Dutch city Gaga and at the European Parliament in Brussels, the WUC has organized the second phase of the Uyghur leadership-training seminar from 21-23 April 2008 in Berlin. In both seminars, more than 60 Uyghur democracy leaders all around the world gathered together to receive systematic training from the prominent experts in areas of human rights, democracy, international law, diplomacy, UN mechanism. In addition, they visited International Criminal Court, European Parliament, and German Bundestag etc. and were very impressed by the examples of world democracies.


For the first time Uyghur leaders systematically received theoretical and practical fundamentals of campaigning for human rights and democracy in the framework of international law and the UN mechanism. Uyghur leaders have developed positive skills and integrated it in their campaigns from the practical knowledge they have learnt through well-organized lectures by the prominent experts on various topic such as UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, working mechanism of UN body and European Parliament, effective ways to organize NGO activities, proper approach to engage with UN and EU mechanism, exploring the ways of influencing their decision making, practical steps towards the internationalization of Uyghur issue etc.,. They also profited from this practical training blended with their experiences gained thorough long years of public campaigns.

In 18 and 19 May 2009, the WUC has convened an international conference on “past, present and future of East Turkestan: 60 Years under the People Republic of China ” in Washington, DC, prominent scholars on Uyghur issue gave lectures based on their very recent research and analysis on existing problems of Uyghur people in economical, political, and socials areas in East Turkestan under the 60 years of PRC’s communist regime.

These are the works accomplished by the WUC with its limited capabilities in terms of finance and human resources. Of course, it is still far behind the expectation of our people and the actual needs of our mission. With valuable suggestion and more new and practical ideas of Uyghur leaders, activists, experts; though urgent discussions and making important resolutions concerning the desperate situation of our people; and the election of new round of WUC leadership, we truly believe that our global campaign for the Uyghur people in East Turkestan will be raised to another level and secure the way of ultimate victory. By strongly adhering to the common will of the Uyghur people, we also deeply believe that the WUC will successfully accomplish this noble task entrusted by its people.




 
Uyghur Canadian Society (UCS)
3205 Nawbrook Road, Mississauga, Ontario L4X 2V6
Tell: (647) 210-0709     Facsimile: (289) 232-8678     Email: info@uyghurcanadiansociety.org