Uyghur American Association commemorates 14th anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks

Uyghur American Association remembers victims of September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and condemns terrorism

For immediate release
September 10, 2015 10:15am EST
Contact: Uyghur American +1 (202) 478 1920

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) mourns the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States. As Uyghur Americans, we stand with fellow citizens in a firm commitment to the democratic ideals of the United States and against terrorism.   

UAA is unequivocally opposed to any form of violence and condemns all violent actions. Ongoing Chinese government repression in East Turkestan and violations of fundamental Uyghur human rights create the conditions for radicalization. UAA calls on China to change repressive policies and to engage in a genuine and meaningful dialogue with Uyghurs to improve conditions in East Turkestan.

“9/11 is a day of solemn commemoration, as well as a time to reassert democratic and peaceful solutions to political disagreements,” said UAA president, Alim Seytoff in a statement from Washington, DC.

Mr. Seytoff added: “Uyghurs seeking a meaningful and lasting outcome to their political grievances do not take the path of violence. The principle of dialogue should also be upheld by the Chinese state when dealing with Uyghur claims. State violence and extrajudicial killings of Uyghurs demonstrate China’s disregard for peaceful solutions. Nonviolent dissent to repressive Chinese government policies has been classed as terrorism in an effort to mute Uyghur aspirations of freedom, democracy and human rights.”

UAA reminds the international community of the Chinese government’s opportunism over 9/11. Following the attacks on the United States, Chinese officials manipulated the tragedy to abruptly claim an upsurge in “Uyghur terrorism.” UAA urges the international community to assess each Chinese government claim of alleged Uyghur terror on its merits, as state authorities consistently fail to provide evidence.

UAA believes the May 23, 2014 announcement of a one-year anti-terror campaign in East Turkestan has normalized human rights violations in the region and the use of excessive security measures.

Overseas media reports cited Xinjiang party secretary Zhang Chunxian as stating the anti-terror crackdown would employ “unconventional measures.” Since the May 2014 announcement, Chinese and overseas media have described on a series of region wide mass trials, death sentences, and executions, including 45 cases reported in August 2015. UAA is concerned that due process of law has not been observed in these cases, given the speed and atmosphere of retribution in the region.

In a report dated September 8, 2014 AP raised the probability “that Chinese police are excessively using deadly force” during security operations aimed at Uyghurs. China’s lack of transparency surrounding incidents of state violence in East Turkestan and conflation between peaceful dissent and violence should cause alarm among independent observers. Incidents such as the one in Elishku in July 2014 merit further investigation into the use of Chinese state violence against peaceful protestors.

UAA renews its call on China to change repressive policies and to engage in a genuine and meaningful dialogue with Uyghurs to improve conditions in East Turkestan. Uyghurs should be active participants and decision-makers in the determination of their future and not further marginalized through state use of force.

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