UHRP Translates Report On July 5, 2009 Crackdown in Urumchi

To Strike the Strongest Blow Chinese

To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown On 2009 Unrest In Urumchi in Chinese. The report was published in English this year marking the fourth anniversary of deadly unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.

On July 5, 2009, in Urumchi, Uyghur men, women and children peacefully assembled in People’s Square to protest government inaction over a deadly attack on Uyghur factory workers in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province. The details of what happened that day, and over the following months, have been unclear. What is known is that the city erupted into unprecedented unrest that resulted in the deaths of an unknown number of people. 

Since July 5, 2009, Chinese officials have spared no effort to silence and intimidate Uyghur voices about the unrest, and have actively sought to suppress information that contradicts the official narrative. Besides a 10-month communications blackout, harsh punishment for Uyghur webmasters and journalists aided official efforts to manage and control information emerging from the region on the unrest.

UHRP accessed an extensive archive of Chinese state media reports spanning the period of July 2009 to February 2010 from the Urumchi Evening News, a small proportion of which are cited in To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown On 2009 Unrest In Urumchi. The archive, predominately in the Uyghur language, reveals how the Chinese media built a narrative of the unrest.

The archive also demonstrates how in building that narrative, the Chinese government account, especially of the post-unrest detentions, lacks sufficient clarity, a finding that should cast doubt on the state’s version of events. It is unclear how many Uyghurs were detained, tried and forcibly disappeared as a result of the unrest.

The report also includes interviews conducted in 2010 and 2011 with Uyghur eyewitnesses to the post-unrest security crackdown, as well as the reporting of human rights organizations and overseas media.

The Chinese language report, To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown on 2009 Unrest in Urumchi, can be downloaded at: http://docs.uyghuramerican.org/To-Strike-the-Strongest-Blow-Chinese.pdf

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