(TORONTO, Ontario) -- One Free World International, in association with Federation for a Democratic China, Canada and Uyghur Canadian Society, is calling for an independent investigation into several incidents that have recently rocked the Uyghur people in East Turkestan.
According to numerous sources, it was revealed this week that dozens of people have tragically died in Lukchan, Pichan County in East Turkestan in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Initial reports indicate that as many as 46 people have been killed following clashes, the initial cause of which has not been released. This is the second major incident in recent months, and the death toll continues to climb. The true number of casualties is difficult to verify, due to the shroud of secrecy pulled over the region by the Chinese authorities through communication blackouts.
"With the arrival of the Fourth Anniversary of the July 5th Urumchi unrest and the onset of Ramadan's observerance set for July 9th, I am deeply concerned that further human rights violations will happen," says Kayum Masimov, President of the Uyghur Canadian Society. "In years gone by, Uyghurs have been subjected to severe restrictions upon their freedoms. Women have been forced, often physically, to unveil, refused entry to mosques and coerced into renouncing their faith in order to obtain social security and access to medical treatment. Uyghurs have been forced to not observe Ramadan, through means such as banning fasting and entry to mosques with the placement of security forces inside and outside ensuring so. Communication blackouts are a common occurrence to quell open discussion of human rights violations, such as that of the July 5th Urumchi incident, and many people have been harrassed, arrested and imprisoned for doing so, and extrajudicial killings have also happened to those who have not complied, including women and children."
Masimov says that without the support of the international community, these incidents will continue to recur with impunity. "I am deeply disappointed with the lack of attention from Canadian and international media towards the deteriorating situations of Uyghurs in Eastern Turkistan."
Human rights leader Majed El Shafie, President of One Free World International, says that the time to act is now. “The Chinese government must understand that respecting minority rights and religious rights within China is the foundation for true democracy. Without it, they won’t be able to take their place on the international stage.”
World Uyghur Congress (WUC) report
World Uyghur Congress (WUC) report (offline)