Sat.23.SepHerberg Macharius

The Uyghur Issue . A panel discussion

A Uighur Day in Ghent (Panel discussion + concert)

In the western part of the People's Republic of China lies the 'Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,' as the region is officially known, or the Uighur Autonomous Region, as many Uighurs prefer to call it. It is a vast area where traditionally the Uighurs have been the dominant group. In recent years, the Chinese state has taken strong actions against this population. A network of camps has been established where Uighurs undergo 're-education.' According to China, these are vocational schools used in the fight against terrorism.

Last year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, published a report on the situation. The report states that 'allegations of torture or ill-treatment, including compulsory medical treatment and poor detention conditions, are credible, as are allegations of individual incidents of sexual violence.'

The report concludes that 'serious human rights violations are taking place in the context of the fight against terrorism.' And that 'the level of arbitrary detention of Uighurs and others, in a context of restriction and denial of individual and collective fundamental rights, may amount to international crimes, particularly crimes against humanity.'

The growing power of China has led many countries to refrain from criticizing these events. Most Muslim-majority countries remain silent. Even Turkey, which shares cultural affinity with the Uighurs, has become more cautious over the years.

In light of the situation, we are organizing this panel discussion to bring attention to the situation and create space for Uighur culture. We will discuss the current situation in Xinjiang with Ekber Tursun, a representative of the Belgium Uyghur Association, and Stijn Deklerck, sinologist and China expert at Amnesty International Netherlands. Qelbinur Sidiq, who was detained in the camps, will also share her testimony. Hafsa al-Baziou, Alderwoman for International Cooperation and responsible for human rights policy in Ghent, will provide her perspective.

At 8:00 PM, a concert by the Uighur Mäshräp Ensemble will take place in the refectory of the Saint Bavo's Abbey > more info & reservation

Organized by: Amnesty Flanders, Belgium Uyghur Association, Buren van de Abdij, De Centrale, Herberg Macharius & MO* Magazine


Saturday 23 September 2023

From 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Free admission (no reservation needed)