PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
East Turkistan Government in Exile
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5 July 2022
WASHINGTON – Dozens of Uyghurs in Washington, DC held a rally in front of the White House on Tuesday to mark the 13th Anniversary of the 2009 July 5th Urumchi Massacre and called on government to recognize East Turkistan as an occupied country and support East Turkistan’s right to national self-determination and independence.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement organized a peaceful march from the White House to the U.S. State Department in commemoration of the Urumchi Massacre.
Communist China rampaged its military forces, shot Uyghur protesters, and arbitrarily arrested thousands of them. Subsequently, the government used the incident as an excuse to unlawfully abduct Uyghurs for several months after the July 5 massacre. As a result, hundreds of Uyghur men disappeared as wide-scale police sweeps heightened.
The Financial Times estimated that some 4,000 arrests had already taken place by mid-July 2009. Urumchi’s [Urumqi] prisons were so full that the newly arrested people were held in People’s Liberation Army warehouses. (Some accounts say the actual numbers incarcerated are even higher.)
Following the incidents, internet access, mobile phone service, and outbound international calls throughout the region were blocked to prevent the flow of information in and out of the area. Internet access, mobile phone service, and outbound international calls throughout the region were also blocked, and the internet was not restored until May 2010.
Thirteen years have passed, and the situation in East Turkistan is worse as Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Tatars, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and other ethnic Turkic face genocide and mass internment under Chinese occupation.
Salih Hudayar, the Prime Minister of the East Turkistan government-in-exile, said at the event that the July 5 Urumchi Massacre was a climax of the Chinese government’s colonization, genocide and occupation of the East Turkistan in the past few decades prior to the official launch of the ongoing genocide in 2014, and it was also a sign of the Uyghurs’ resistance.
He emphasized that the racial oppression reflected in the Urumchi Massacre is still being carried to this day.
Afterwards, the demonstrators urged the U.S. Government to acknowledge the root of China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples by recognizing East Turkistan as an Occupied Country like Tibet.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile believes that restoring East Turkistan’s independence is only way forward for Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples after facing unprecedented genocide and oppression.