For the 22nd memorial day of the Ghulja Massacre
By M.H Uyghur
Monday, February 4, 2019
Today, we stand here to demonstrate for the 22nd Memorial Day of the Ghulja massacre, which reminiscent of what took place on July 5th, 2009 in Urumqi.
On 5th February 1997, a peaceful demonstration by fifteen to twenty thousand Uyghurs in the city of Gulja, a historic city which located in the western part of East Turkestan. Demonstrators, which including children and females were demanded Chinese authority to stop oppressing Uyghurs, stop cultural genocide and ethnic discrimination. They ask the Chinese authority to respect Uyghur human rights and religious freedom.
Rather than addressing the legitimate concerns of the protesters, the protests were brutally suppressed by Chinese security forces. Ghulja city is geographically considered as part of Siberia, 22 years ago, this day was cold and freezing, the temperature was as cold as more than -30 degrees. According to some eyewitnesses, who are now living abroad, says Chinese security forces were pouring cold water to the demonstrators who were arrested by them, resulting in the death of many Uyghurs.
According to reports from international organizations and media, Chinese armies’ brutal actions killed at least 100 Uyghurs and injured many more. In a further act to suppress the truth of the events that day, more than 200 Uyghurs were sentenced to death, and approximately 4000 Uyghurs were arrested during and in the aftermath of the demonstration, where many remain disappeared today, likely dead or hidden in the People’s Republic of China’s notoriously hidden prison system.
Uyghurs all around the world mourn the tragic events that took place this day. The Chinese authorities tried by every means to cover up the true extent of the massacre. They deployed more than 40,000 security forces to cut off Ghulja from the outside world in order to prevent leaks of information. Those who still dared to pass on information and were caught doing so had to expect long prison sentences. After the suppression of the demonstration, the Chinese government intensified its repression of the Uyghurs, as well as its persecution of the Uyghurs. The government subjected Uyghurs to especially intense religious persecution and repression. Since 2016, Chinese authority is starting initiating so-called re-education system across Uyghur region. More than a million, possibly as high as 3 to 6 million Uyghurs are now detained in those camps. Including regular citizens and intellectuals, teachers, journalist, and authors.
In view of the significance of the Ghulja massacre on the Uyghur people, and the shock waves it sent around the globe, the Uyghurs ask all to mourn with us today in solidarity with the victims. And stand up, speak out for Uyghurs, for humanity and peaceful future. We will never forget and will not forgive until the justice will have replaces the cruelty and atrocity until the light will push away the darkness.
We believe in humanity and believe as the human being, we deserve to be respected and have every right to have access to justice and freedom.
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