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URGENT ALERT: China ˝ IHRC urges campaigners to write to OIC over escalating violence in Xinjiang

07 July 2009

IHRC is deeply concerned over the escalating violence in Urumqi, Xinjiang, which has now spread to Kashgar.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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07 July 2009

URGENT ALERT: China ˝ IHRC urges campaigners to write to OIC over escalating violence in Xinjiang

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter
5. Addresses for sample letter


1. Summary

IHRC is deeply concerned over the escalating violence in Urumqi, Xinjiang, which has now spread to Kashgar. Campaigners are asked to write to the Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), as well as the foreign ministers of Iran, Malaysia and Turkey, requesting them to urge the Chinese government to deal with protestors in a proportionate and even-handed manner, and to appropriately address the root cause of the unrest, namely the abhorrent human rights situation for the countryÝs Uighurs.


2. Background

The current violence taking place in Urumqi and Kashgar, Xinniang is deeply worrying. Official reports link the unrest to the death of two Uighur factory workers in June in an ethnic clash at a toy factory in Guangdong. However, other reports suggest that more than 100 Uighurs were killed during the incident at the factory. News of this incident is what allegedly sparked around 10 thousand Uighur protestors to take to the streets in Urumqi. It is also believed that the initial riots in Urumqi were sparked when police, who knew in advance protestors would be demonstrating in large numbers, blocked the roads to prevent them from assembling.

There are conflicting reports from various sources regarding the number of dead in Urumqi, and the cause of these deaths. Official reports say at least 156 have been killed, while other sources put the figure above 1,000. So far, there have been 1,000 injured and 1,434 arrested in relation to the unrest in Xinjiang.

It is probable that the substantial influx of Han Chinese to the region has played a role in the current unrest. A drastic Űin-transferÝ of ethnic Han Chinese has coincided a government policy of transferring Uighur women from Xinjiang to the urban areas of ChinaÝs eastern seaboard for forced labour, significantly changing the regionÝs demographics.

ChinaÝs Uighurs are undoubtedly amongst the most repressed peoples of the world. Some of the human rights abuses Uighurs face are forced labour, forced abortion, human trafficking, arbitrary arrest and detention, and severe racial and religious persecution. For further information on the human rights situation of Uighurs in China, please visit links below:

Young-Uyghur Women Transferred from Rural China for Forced Labour in Eastern Urban Areas (http://ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3227)

The plight of the Uighurs: ChinaÝs Muslims suffering as much as the Tibetans (http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3553)

Did ChinaÝs Nuclear Tests Kill Thousands and Doom Future Generations? (http://ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=4214)

IHRC urgently calls on campaigners to send letters to the to the Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), as well as the foreign ministers of Iran, Malaysia and Turkey, requesting them to urge the Chinese government to deal with protestors in a proportionate and even-handed manner, and to appropriately address the root cause of the unrest, namely the abhorrent human rights situation for Uighurs in China.


3. Action required

Write to the following authorities requesting them to urge the Chinese government to deal with protestors in a proportionate and even-handed manner, and to begin addressing the root cause of the unrest, namely the abhorrent human rights situation for Uighurs in China:

a) Secretary General of the OIC.

b) Minister of foreign affairs in Iran, Malaysia and Turkey. The sample letter below is already addressed to the Secretary General of the OIC. Campaigners can thereafter change the address with that of the foreign ministers of Iran, Malaysia and Turkey, which can be found at the end of this alert along with appropriate fax numbers and email addresses.


4. Sample letter for the Secretary General of the OIC and/or ministers of foreign affairs in Iran, Malaysia and Turkey.
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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Aside from the address below, campaigners can write to the Secretary General of the OIC by faxing letters via +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email letters using the email submission form at http://www.oic-oci.org/feed_back.asp

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Secretary General ˝ Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
The Organisation of The Islamic Conference
PO Box: 178
Jeddah-21411
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dear Mr. Ihsanoglu,

Re: China ˝ Escalating violence in Xinjiang

I am deeply concerned over the current violence happening in Xinjiang. There are conflicting reports from various sources regarding the number of dead in Urumqi, and the cause of these deaths. Official reports say at least 156 have been killed, while other sources put the figure above 1,000. So far, there have been 1,000 injured and 1,434 arrested in relation to the unrest in Xinjiang.

As you may be aware, the Uighurs of China are amongst the most repressed peoples of the world. Some of the human rights abuses Uighurs face are forced labour, forced abortion, human trafficking, arbitrary arrest and detention, and severe racial and religious persecution. I am very worried that the Chinese authorities may use the current protests and unrest as an excuse to severely crackdown on the regions Uighurs, making sweeping arrests, and curtail even further the Uighurs rights.

I urge you to seek assurances from the Chinese government that they will deal with protestors in a proportionate and even-handed manner. Further, please urge the Chinese government to appropriately address the root cause of the unrest, namely the abhorrent human rights situation for Uighurs in China.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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5. Addresses for sample letters for ministers of foreign affairs in the Iran, Malaysia and Turkey

a) Iran:

Foreign Minister ˝ HE Dr. Manouchehr Mottaki
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamic Republic of Iran
Imam Khomeini SQ
Tehran ˝ Iran

Fax: +98 21 6674 3149
Email: matbuat@mfa.gov.ir


b) Malaysia:

Minister of Foreign Affairs ˝ Hon. Datuk Anifah Hj. Aman
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia
Wisma Putra
1 Jalan Wisma Putra
Precinct 2
62602 Putrajaya
Malaysia

Fax: +603 8889 1717
Email: http://www.kln.gov.my/?m_id=57


c) Turkey:

Minister of Foreign Affairs ˝ Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu
Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Balgat / ANKARA / TURKEY 06100

Email: info@mfa.gov.tr

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below

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"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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