UHRP remembers the 2014 mass killing of Uyghurs in Elishqu, East Turkistan

For immediate release
July 27, 2020 5:45 pm EDT
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project
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On July 28, 2014, according to witnesses, Chinese security forces opened fire on peaceful Uyghur demonstrators, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more, in Elishqu Township in southern East Turkistan.

Six years later, the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) remembers the lives lost and reminds the international community of the Chinese state’s history of violence against the Uyghur people.

In 2014, the Uyghur American Association reported how Elishqu residents protested restrictions on religious activity during Ramadan and the extrajudicial killing of a Uyghur family on July 18 in nearby Bashkent Township.

According to Chinese state media, 96 individuals were killed during the Elishqu incident, including 59 “terrorists” shot by Chinese security forces. Citing local sources, exiled Uyghurs questioned the official account and claimed a far larger number of Uyghur protestors were gunned down. 

“The incident in Elishqu demonstrated the Chinese state’s disregard for Uyghur lives and grievances. Incidents of state violence against Uyghurs during the 2013–14 period, such as those in LuchkunHanerik, and Elishqu, were never investigated,” said UHRP Executive Director, Omer Kanat.

Mr. Kanat added: “These instances of state violence were a foreshadowing of the genocidal policies now targeted at Uyghurs. As we call for an end to the intense repression of the Uyghur people in 2020, we must also seek justice for the dead of Elishqu.”

The Elishqu incident also demonstrated a move toward the technological militarization of East Turkistan, as well as tighter state controls on information emerging from the region through internet shutdowns and arrests of Uyghur netizens.

See also:

Chinese police shoot dozens of attackers dead in Xinjiang region (The Guardian, July 29, 2014)
Dozens of Uyghurs Shot Dead in Riots in Xinjiang’s Yarkand County (Radio Free Asia, July 29, 2014).
Violence 'kills or injures dozens' (BBC, July 30, 2014).
China Says Violent Xinjiang Uprising Left Almost 100 Dead (The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2014).
Legitimizing Repression: China’s “War on Terror” Under Xi Jinping and State Policy in East Turkestan (UHRP, March 3, 2015).