URAP Statement on the 12 year commemoration of July 5th Urumchi Massacre

URAP’s Statement on the 12th Anniversary of Urumchi Massacre July 5, 2009.

July 5, 2021

For Immediate release.

The Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) commemorates the 12th anniversary of Urumchi massacre, which took place on and continued the following days of July 5th 2009. On this day, July the fifth, 12 years ago, Uyghurs in Urumchi city of East Turkistan held peaceful protests across the city demanding  full and transparent police investigation into the killings of Uyghur laborers in manufacturing plants in Shaoguan toy factory, Guangdong.

These rightful and peaceful protests were met with real live bullets and followed by the unprecedented Chinese police brutality. Eyewitnesses testimonies indicate hundreds of Uyghur demonstrators were shot on the spot and many more have made disappear in police custody. Chinese regime enforced the disappearances of Uyghur population en masse, mainly men aged between 16 to 45 years old.

The underlying cause of protests were never addressed or even acknowledged by the China state and however,  racial, ethnic and religious discrimination of Uyghurs at the hands of ethnic Chinese government has been institutionalized since then.

The July 5, 2009 Urumchi massacre served as a watershed moment for Uyghurs and resulted in the mass exodus of those Uyghurs, who were able to escape to the third-party states, notably to the South-East Asian states, like Thailand and Malaysia and eventually to Turkey. The 2009 Urumchi massacre resulted in the countless enforced Uyghur family separations, including among diaspora members residing in Canada.

As stated by URAP’s Executive Director Mehmet Tohti July 5h massacre and continued state brutality afterward is the important milestone that led to the current Uyghur genocide. Total death toll and number of enforced disappearances of Uyghurs are still remained unknown as state secrete without any accountability. However, Uyghurs in diaspora have been refused to forget the July 5th Urumchi massacre  and call on the international community to take action to bring those perpetrators to Justice for their gross and systematic crimes committed against Uyghurs.”

Time for Canada to act and initiate the Uyghur refugees resettlement into Canada is long over due. The government of Canada should act by following the recommendations by the Foreign Committee of the Canadian Parliament in March of 2021 to fulfill its responsibility to protection doctrine as part.

URAP urges all responsible governments around the world to protect and safeguard the rights of Uyghur refugees who are facing imminent threat of deportation in unsafe third countries under China’s pressure.


Contact: Mehmet Tohti +416-824-9477 / Mehmet@urap.ca