Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chairmen Recognize Fifth Anniversary of Riots in Xinjiang, China and Call for Improved Treatment of Uyghurs

Jul 3, 2014 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission co-chairmen James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) today recognize the fifth anniversary of the riots and violence in Xinjiang, China and express their continued concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China, especially for the Uyghur Muslim community.

On July 5, 2009, hundreds of the minority Muslim Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of China rioted against the Han majority, one of the worst outbreaks of ethnic violence in Xinjiang in years. Within just two days, 197 Uyghurs died, 1,700 were wounded, and more than 1000 were detained. The PRC government’s response to the violence was universally condemned.

The Government of China continues to repress the rights of the Uyghur minority. For example, a prominent Uyghur scholar, Ilham Tohti was arrested earlier this year. He was reportedly tried in secret and received a heavy prison sentence just last month.

The Co-Chairmen call on the government of China to stop the targeted violence and discrimination against the Uyghur minority and to commit to upholding the basic human rights of all its citizens.

The mission of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission is to promote and advocate human rights in a nonpartisan manner both inside and outside of Congress.

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