MUNICH: The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), an Uyghur rights organisation based in Munich, Germany in a statement released on Friday, condemned the Chinese authorities for the atrocities they inflicted upon the Uyghur community of east Turkistan. The WUC slammed Beijing and stated that the country must take responsibility for atrocities in the East Turkestan/Xinjiang region, and compensate the victims for the losses they had suffered.

The statement by the WUC came on the 15th anniversary of the Urumchi massacre commonly known as the Urumqi massacre. The statement WUC quoted the accounts of the consultant for genocide prevention at the Society for Threatened People (STP) who said “Over the past 15 years, the human rights situation of the Uyghurs has steadily deteriorated. Official statements by the regime on the Urumqi massacre are merely a distortion of the truth and a cover-up of human rights violations in the region. At the same time, the regime continues to maintain the narrative of Uyghurs as terrorists and extremists. The suffering of the Uyghurs is to be made invisible” .

According to historical records, “On July 5, 2009, hundreds of Uyghurs protested in Urumqi, the capital of East Turkestan/Xinjiang. The trigger was the murder of Uyghur factory workers in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. At least 200 people were killed in the brutal suppression of the peaceful protests. The cruel massacre 15 years ago was the beginning of permanent violence against Uyghurs, which has led to massive human rights violations and systematic repression”.

“For Uyghurs, July 5 is a day of mourning. The families of the victims and the survivors have a right to have the events dealt with and to receive appropriate compensation. We demand that those responsible for the Urumqi massacre be held accountable. In Urumqi, Uyghurs peacefully made their demands in 2009. Instead of dealing with the policy of oppression and exclusion, the Chinese government is continuing its brutal policy and has been committing genocide against the Uyghurs with its internment policy since 2017” said Kuerban Gheyyur, head of the Berlin WUC office.

Additionally, the same WUC statement claimed that thousands of Uyghurs are still in the internment camps and have officially been labelled as prisoners and many inmates have been sentenced to life imprisonment or forced to do forced labour. The WUC along with its sister human rights organizations urged that an immediate and independent investigation over the perpetrators be launched for the Urumchi massacre and the culprits must be punished. People who have been arrested and put in internment camps must be released.