World Uyghur Congress commemorates victims of Yarkand Massacre 

China Turkey Uighur Uyghur

The World Uyghur Congress on Friday commemorated the victims of the Yarkand massacre on the ninth anniversary of the tragedy.

On July 28, 2014, many innocent Uyghurs were killed when Chinese security forces forcefully put down a largely peaceful rally in Yarkand, according to an official press release of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

Uyghurs were constantly been killed by security forces in a number of violent episodes the year before Yarkand as well. However, the events of July 2014 and the days that followed resulted in the bloodiest incident since the turmoil in Urumchi in July 2009, and many specifics of what happened are still unknown to this day, the release said.

In the months that followed the incident, all forms of internet and cell connection were cut off to and from the area.

“Every year, we commemorate victims of different massacres, but the Yarkand massacre remains the deadliest. The international community cannot continue to ignore atrocity crimes and genocide in East Turkistan. These massacres should’ve warranted independent investigations,” said WUC President Dolkun Isa, according to the official release. 

Citing the Uyghur sources, the WUC release stated the protests and their aftermath may have resulted in the deaths of up to 3000 Uyghurs. Given the absence of openness and judicial accountability, it is still unclear how many people actually got detained, were killed, or perished.

As the repression of Uyghur minorities continues under Chinese authorities, the WUC has asked that the Chinese government take action right now and in a transparent manner to inform the families and the community of the locations and conditions of the missing and deceased people.

“Reiterating the seriousness of the East Turkistan problem, we urge governments, nongovernmental organisations, and other international organisations to band together in order to meaningfully combat the Uyghur genocide,” the WUC release read. 

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