ANI Photo | Uyghurs commemorate Urumqi massacre, hold protest in Austria against Chinese persecution

The Uyghur community in Austria protested in front of the Chinese Embassy in Vienna demanding an end to the persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim communities in Beijing, Voices Against Autocracy (VAA) reported.
The demonstration was organised to commemorate the Urumqi massacre which took place on July 5, 2009, and to raise their voice against the ongoing genocide in East Turkestan in the Xinjiang province of China.
Around 50 Uyghurs from Austria gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy and raised slogans against the genocidal actions of the Chinese government.
According to VAA, many of these Uyghurs have lost their loved ones in the massacre and it is important for them to remember this heinous act of the Beijing government to gain strength in their continued fight against the Chinese oppression.
Mevlan Dilshat, President of the Uyghur community in Austria, led the protests, and Uyghurs from various provinces of the country participated in the protest in huge numbers.
The protestors called upon the international community to refrain from being silent and take action against this genocide.
In the infamous Urumqi massacre, around 200 people were killed and around 1700 were left injured after the horrific three-day violence between ethnic minority Uyghurs and Han Chinese community, as per VAA.
However, these are only the official Chinese figures, and the real numbers of dead and injured is considered to be much higher.
June 5, 2009 further became a ‘turning point’ and the beginning of the genocidal “ethnic cleansing” policy of the Chinese Communist Party. The persecution accelerated in 2016-17, when President Xi Jinping started to consolidate his power within China and started using Uyghurs as “pawns” to further his self-interest, VAA reported.
As per estimates, around 1.8 million people from the Uyghur community have been held in internment camps. The detainees who later came out of the camps reported of widespread maltreatment, including severe human rights abuses, torture, rape and forced labour.
But, many of those who went to those camps, never returned back and even their whereabouts were not known, VAA reported.

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