12 noon (UK time, UTC +1)
Sunday 5 July
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- Zumretay Arkin, eyewitness to the events in Urumqi 2009
- Rahima Mahmut, World Uyghur Congress
- Maira Aisaeva, Uyghur Community UK
- John McDonnell, Labour MP
- Kate Osamor, Labour MP
- Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP
- Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
- Ben Towse, Uyghur Solidarity Campaign UK
- John Moloney, Assisstant General Secretary, PCS trade union
July 5th of this year is the 11th anniversary of the unrest, and the massacre which followed it, in Urumqi (the largest city of East Turkestan, homeland of the Uyghur people, which is ruled by the Chinese state as “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region”).
A peaceful demonstration in Urumqi on 5th July 2009, called in response to the killing of Uyghur factory workers by an armed gang of Han Chinese workers, was heavily repressed by Chinese riot police and paramilitary police, resulting in widespread clashes and riots and the deaths of dozens of people, Han Chinese and Uyghur. Violent reprisals from the Chinese authorities over the next few days resulted in many more deaths of Uyghurs.
Thousands of Uyghurs were killed or disappeared in the brutal crackdown that followed. This day proved to be a significant turning point in Uyghur history and indicated the increasingly repressive and intolerant path the Chinese government would take in subsequent years
Our meeting will reflect on the unrest and massacre, and their significance in the increasing oppression of the Uyghur people by the Chinese authorities over the years since then. We will seek to learn from these events as we also consider the plight of the Uyghurs today as they suffer intensely organised mass persecution at the hands of the Chinese state. Speakers will lead a discussion on these questions and on how we can build solidarity with the Uyghur people and campaign effectively for China to respect Uyghur human rights.
Co-hosted by the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign UK, the World Uyghur Congress and Uyghur Community UK