China: End the repression of Uyghurs in East Turkestan

On the eve of the 6th anniversary of the Urumqi massacre, Uyghurs and human rights activists in the UK are calling upon the Chinese government to investigate the events of 5 July 2009, account for the dead and missing, and to end the continuing repression of the people of East Turkestan. In addition, the international community is called upon to support the Uyghur people in their peaceful aims for human rights and freedom.

Chinese, Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK (CUTS UK), a coalition of UK-based human rights organisations [1], along with Solidarity Platform of Turkic World (SPTW) demands accountability for the hundreds who died and remain missing following the violent crackdown by Chinese security forces on protestors on 5 July 2009 in Urumqi.

CUTS UK and SPTW also condemns the Chinese government’s on-going ‘Strike Hard’ campaign in East Turkestan, which has seen an intensification of its stranglehold over the Uyghur people, with extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances and arbitrary death sentences. Since the introduction of the ‘Strike Hard’ campaign in May 2014, thousands of people have been imprisoned and hundreds have been executed. [2]

Nizamidin Semetov, President of the Uyghur Community UK, a member organisation of CUTS UK, said, “Today, we call for transparency from the Chinese government; how many were killed during the demonstration and where are the missing? We call on China to address the root causes of the 5 July protest, in particular the economic and cultural discrimination to which Uyghurs are subjected, and to end the severe political and religious repression in East Turkestan.”

Rahima Mahmut, a member of the Uyghur Community UK, said, “Uyghur mothers are still seeking the fate of their loved ones six years after China’s brutal intervention at the peaceful rally on and after 5 July 2009. Not knowing if their loved ones are dead or alive is a psychological torment for innocent families. This could be resolved by the disclosure of information by the Chinese authorities. However, pleas for information are met with harassment and imprisonment.”

Paul Golding, Campaigns Coordinator for Tibet Society, a member organisation of CUTS UK, said, “The unrest in East Turkestan has grown due to the implementation of unjust laws, aimed at silencing ethnic Uyghurs. The international community has a duty to call China to account and demand the rule of law is applied in East Turkestan, including fair and transparent trials.”

Atilla Abacioglu, President of the Solidarity Platform of Turkic World, said, “The Turkish people around the world are outraged over China’s suppression of Uyghur people, by the use of intimidation, brutal force and arbitrary prison sentences including the death sentence. China must respect the religious and cultural rights of our Uyghur brothers and sisters.”

CUTS UK and SPTW call on the international community to demand the Chinese government allows independent observers into East Turkestan along with the members of the media to investigate and report on the current situation.

On Sunday 5 July 2015, CUTS UK along with Solidarity Platform of Turkic World is organising a peaceful protest outside the Chinese Embassy in London to commemorate the 5 July anniversary and to ensure that the suffering of the Uyghur people is not forgotten. [3]

Contacts (available for interview):
Nizamidin Semetov (Uyghur Community UK): 07986 047994,
Rahima Mahmut (Uyghur Community UK): 07830 039693,
Atilla Abacioglu (Solidarity Platform of Turkic World): 07940 215970

1. Chinese Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK is a coalition of organisations and activists that opposes the tyrannical rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and works to promote human rights, freedom and democracy for all oppressed people and nations under the CCP. The coalition includes: Chinese Solidarity Campaign, Federation for Democratic China, Friends of Tiananmen Mothers, Students for a Free Tibet UK, Tibetan Community in Britain, Tibet Society, Uyghur Association and Uyghur Community UK.

2. For more info on the Uyghur situation go to: &

3. Details of protest: Sunday 5 July, 12:30pm – 2:30pm. All welcome. Outside the Chinese Embassy, 49-59 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL. Organised by Chinese, Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK and Solidarity Platform of Turkic World.