Kashgar: The Disappearing City – Exploring Ways to Save a Silk Road Oasis from Extinction

January 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Kashgar: The Disappearing City


9.00 ‐ 12.30

Thursday, 27 January 2011
Room PHS 5B001, Paul‐Henri Spaak Building, European Parliament
60 Rue Wiertz, Brussels, Belgium



Brussels, 24 January 2011 – “What was not achieved by Genghis Khan is being done in the so‐called name of progress.” This is the view of Rebiya Kadeer, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and President of the World Uyghur Congress, on the steady and unrelenting destruction of the historic Silk Road city of Kashgar. Without meaningful public consultation and omitted from applications to UNESCO’s World Heritage listing, Kashgar’s unique urban fabric is being lost day by day, month by month as a result of Communist Party politics. Cities have embraced the twenty‐first century without losing their identity – but Kashgar is losing its identity as Beijing’s central policy seeks to transform the city into a touristic theme park.

But the importance of Kashgar, and the options remaining that could still save it, will be discussed in the conference, ‘The City of Kashgar: An Oasis of the Silk Road on the Brink of Extinction’ that will be held in Room PHS 5B001 of the European Parliament on 27 January 2011 at 9.00am. Frieda Brepoels MEP, convener of the conference, believes that “Europe has models of culturally sensitive urban regeneration – such as Bruges. There is a duty to find constructive and sensitive solutions that can guarantee the preservation of China’s, and the world’s, rich cultural diversity – Kashgar being one of the most important.” 

Marino Busdachin, General Secretary of the UNPO, places Kashgar in a regional context in which “any culture which is not state‐sanctioned is endangered ‐ Lhasa has been destroyed, Beijing’s Gulou district will become, without irony, the Beijing Time Cultural City – cultural genocide is real and it is happening now.” Abdymutalip Imerov, President of the Belgian Uyghur Association, stressed that Kashgar represented a “jewel of Uyghur culture, not only for the Uyghurs of China but for all the Uyghurs of the world.”

For more information on the event please refer to http://www.unpo.org/article/12104 
A press conference will be held following the conference in the
Anna Politkovskaya Room of the European Parliament at 12.30pm, 27 January 2011
For media queries please contact:
Andrew Swan | +32 (0)472 577 518 | aswan@unpo.org
Organised by the Office of Frieda Brepoels MEP
in collaboration with:
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)
Belgian Uyghur Association



About the WUC

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is an international umbrella organization that represents the collective interest of the Uyghur people both in East Turkestan and abroad and promotes Uyghur human rights and a peaceful and non-violent solution based on rule of law for the conflict in East Turkestan.

WUC´s monthly newsletter provides the latest information on Uyghur related issues and informs about the work and activities of the WUC and its affiliate members. Older editions of the newsletter can be viewed and downloaded in pdf format from the web.

To subscribe for WUC´s e-mail service, please fill in this form. If you wish to stop receiving e-mails from the World Uyghur Congress, please send an e- mail with “unsubscribe” in the subject to contact@uyghurcongress.org.

World Uyghur Congress

P.O. Box 310312

80103 Munich, Germany

Tel:  0049 (0) 89 5432 1999

Fax: 0049 (0) 89 5434 9789




Who Are the Six Uighurs Released From Guantánamo to Palau?

November 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Who Are the Six Uighurs Released From Guantánamo to Palau?

by Andy Worthington, November 04, 2009


 Over the weekend, six of the remaining 13 Uighurs in Guantánamo – Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province – were released to resume new lives in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau (population: 20,000).

 I have written at length about the plight of Guantánamo’s Uighurs, innocent men caught up in the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, who were mostly seized and sold to U.S. forces by Pakistani villagers after fleeing a settlement in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains where they had been living Spartan lives for several months, free from Chinese oppression.

Some were hoping to make their way to Turkey, to find work, but had found their way hard and had been advised to seek out the settlement; others nursed futile dreams of rising up against the Chinese government, and, while working to make the settlement habitable, occasionally shot a few rounds on their only weapon, an aged Kalashnikov.

I have also written about how the U.S. authorities knew, almost immediately, that these men had no connection to either al-Qaeda or the Taliban, but how, nevertheless, they flew them to Guantánamo, allowed Chinese interrogators to visit them, and tried, in their tribunals at Guantánamo, to make out that they were connected to a Uighur separatist group, which obligingly had been designated by the Bush administration as a terrorist group to secure leverage with the Chinese government in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Continue Reading Who Are the Six Uighurs Released From Guantánamo to Palau?…

Rebiya Kadeer: The Real Story of the Uighur Riots

July 9, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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The Real Story of the Uighur Riots

Heavy-handed police tactics by the Chinese turned a peaceful assembly into a bloodbath

 JULY 8, 2009


When the Chinese government looks back on its handling of the unrest in Urumqi and East Turkestan this week, it will most likely tell the world that it acted in the interests of maintaining stability. It will most likely forget to explain why thousands of Uighurs risked everything to speak out against injustice, or why hundreds of Uighurs are now dead for exercising their right to protest.

Continue Reading Rebiya Kadeer: The Real Story of the Uighur Riots…

Turkish politicians, organizations react to Xinjiang violence

July 8, 2009 at 9:31 am | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
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Turkish politicians, organizations react to Xinjiang violence

east-turkistan Woman on a crutch

A local woman on a crutch shouts at Chinese armored personnel carriers and soldiers wearing riot gear as a crowd of angry locals confront security forces on a street in the city of Urumqi.



The killing of ethnic Turkic Uighurs at the hands of Chinese forces have caused outrage in many countries, including Turkey, where a large group of protesters condemned the killings at a demonstration held in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ankara yesterday.




Turkish politicians and organizations yesterday issued statements condemning the Chinese government over riots in the capital of China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, populated by ethnic Turkic Uighurs, where hundreds have been killed during riots in the past week.





Continue Reading Turkish politicians, organizations react to Xinjiang violence…

The Uighurs and China: lost and found nation

July 7, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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The Uighurs and China: lost and found nation

Yitzhak Shichor, 6 – 07 – 2009

The broader roots of the eruption of protest in China’s far-west region of Xinjiang lie in the experience of the Uighur people under Beijing’s rule, says Yitzhak Shichor.

6 – 07 – 2009



The reports of violence and deaths in the city of Urumchi, the capital of Xinjiang province in northwest China, draw renewed attention to this comparatively neglected region of China and of central Asia. The exact details of what happened there on the night of 5-6 July 2009 are unclear and (inevitably) disputed, though the background may include the assaults on Uighur migrant workers at a toy factory in Guangdong province on 26 June (in which two are reported dead and dozens injured).

Continue Reading The Uighurs and China: lost and found nation…

Statement of Rebiya Kadeer on unrest in Urumchi

July 7, 2009 at 2:34 am | Posted in Turkmens | 2 Comments
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Iraq Turkmen  Uighurs

  Statement of Rebiya Kadeer at July 6 press conference on unrest in Urumchi

 For immediate release

 July 6, 2009, 8:00 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496  


At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. today, Uyghur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer delivered a statement to the press regarding recent unrest in Urumchi and other cities in East Turkestan:

  Continue Reading Statement of Rebiya Kadeer on unrest in Urumchi…

Torture against Uyghurs in East Turkestan

June 26, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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UAA commemorates the United Nations International Day in Support of Torture Victims and Survivors

For immediate release
June 26, 2009, 11:00 am EST
Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496
On June 26, 2009, the United Nations International Day in Support of Torture Victims and Survivors recognizes the suffering of people subjected to state tyranny.
On this occasion, the Uyghur American Association (UAA) would like to present a short compendium of evidence collected by the United Nations and Amnesty International on torture in East Turkestan. The UAA document details the systematic nature of torture in East Turkestan as witnessed by independent observers, individual cases of torture against Uyghurs and torture techniques employed by state authorities in China.

Despite its status as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the People’s Republic China continues to carry out acts of state sanctioned violence against its citizens. To date, no effective mechanisms have been initiated in China to curb the practice of torture within its borders and in East Turkestan.
The United Nations and Amnesty International on Torture in East Turkestan can be accessed at:

Continue Reading Torture against Uyghurs in East Turkestan…

Threatening the Uighur culture, destroying the ancient city of Kashgar

June 19, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
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Showdown at the crossroads of the world

The city of Kashgar is a melting pot of nationalities where East and West meet. But its rich heritage is being crushed by Beijing’s brutal attempt to impose Chinese culture on an unruly imperial outpost.

By Clifford Coonan

 Saturday, 6 June 2009


Uighur men at a Sunday livestock market in Kashgar


Dust billows on to the medieval streets of Kashgar, clouding the view of the cutlers and wood-carvers across the road, as the last wall of an ancient house in this city on the Silk Road is destroyed. Even before the dust has settled, workers wearing Chinese People’s Liberation Army uniforms start pulling down the blue hoarding around the site.

The Chinese government believes this ancient latticework of narrow streets, with its courtyard homes, mosques and open-fronted shops, is dangerous. Beijing believes the city is in need of modernisation if it is to take part in China’s economic miracle.

But fears about earthquakes and the compulsion to modernise are only part of the story. The Chinese are trying to contain what they say is a separatist movement in the Xinjiang region, and this week claimed to have unmasked eight terror cells.

Kashgar has not experienced the sort of dramatic demographic changes seen elsewhere in Xinjiang: in Urumqi, for example, the capital, two hours by plane from Kashgar, the Uighur population has plummeted from 60 to 30 per cent of the total. In Kashgar, by contrast, the Han population is largely confined to police and other officials. But knocking down the ancient fabric of the city and replacing it with bland concrete blocks and towers is part of the same sinicisation process that has been applied in Tibet: another way Beijing strives to bind up the nation’s fraying fringes.

Nothing is simple in Kashgar, the original capital of globalisation and a real melting pot. Kashgar’s street signs are written in Arabic lettering as well as Chinese and people on the streets are a mixture of Uighur and Han, with a fair smattering of Kazakhs, Pakistanis, Russians and Uzbeks. The city’s bazaars and mosques, Uighur language and clothes, Caucasian features and the Turkish food mark China’s westernmost city out as Central, not East, Asia. Here you are closer to the Mediterranean than to Beijing.

Many local Uighurs, a Turkic ethnic group who share linguistic and cultural bonds with central Asia and who make up the majority of the population in the province of Xinjiang, fear their culture is being crushed to rubble along with the ancient masonry of Kashgar.

Continue Reading Threatening the Uighur culture, destroying the ancient city of Kashgar…

Barack Obama’s Uighur Problem

February 28, 2009 at 9:52 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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By Andy Worthington, AlterNet
Posted on February 20, 2009, Printed on February 27, 2009


First, the good news. Adel Abdul Hakim, one of five Uighurs (Muslims from China’s oppressed Xinjiang province), who was released from Guantánamo in May 2006, has had his asylum claim accepted by the Swedish government.

It has been a long journey for Adel. Seized in Pakistan and sold to U.S. forces in December 2001, with 17 of his compatriots, Adel had been living in a run-down hamlet in the Tora Bora mountains, dreaming of rising up against the Chinese government, when the settlement was hit in a U.S. bombing raid. Although it was clear from the very start of their detention that the Uighurs had nothing to do with either al-Qaeda or the Taliban, the Pentagon initially milked them for information about the Chinese government, and then, as a favor to that same government in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, obligingly designated the Uighurs’ separatist group, the East Turkestan Independence Movement (based on the Uighurs’ name for their homeland), as a terrorist organization, and attempted to claim that the Uighurs in Guantánamo were all members.

Continue Reading Barack Obama’s Uighur Problem…

UAA commends delegates for addressing Uyghur human rights issues at the United Nations

February 11, 2009 at 4:23 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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For immediate release

February 10, 2009, 6:00 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496  

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) commends those nations who raised concerns about human rights for Uyghurs during the February 9 Universal Periodic Review interactive dialogue session focused on human rights in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Delegates from Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Japan, France, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Austria, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Brazil and other countries raised questions directly or indirectly related to Uyghur issues.

Continue Reading UAA commends delegates for addressing Uyghur human rights issues at the United Nations…

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