The awards ceremony takes place in December in Oslo…reports Asian Lite News
Germany-based Uyghur rights group, World Uyghur Congress, has been nominated for the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize for its work toward peace, democracy and the plight of the Uyghur and other Turkic people who live under what the nomination letter described as a “repressive regime in China,” Voice of America (VOA) reported.
Canadian lawmakers and a leader of the Young Liberals in Norway, the youth wing of Norway’s Venstre political party, nominated the organization. “The World Uyghur Congress has the main purpose of promoting democracy, human rights, and freedom for the Uyghur People and supporting the use of peaceful, non-violent, and democratic means to help the Uyghurs achieve self-determination,” the nomination letter read.
Although the committee didn’t disclose the names of the Nobel Peace nominees because of the rules, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, one of two Canadian members of parliament who nominated the group, revealed the name and shared the letter with VOA.
The awards ceremony takes place in December in Oslo.
The nomination letter noted the World Uyghur Congress has drawn global attention to China’s treatment of Uyghurs with “the overwhelming campaign of physical, religious, linguistic, and cultural repression” by the Chinese government.
“To achieve this, the World Uyghur Congress has a wide range of activities, including campaigning for the rights of people being forcefully disappeared, advocating for the release of political prisoners, protecting the rights of asylum seekers to prevent forcible repatriation to China, and advocating at the UN, EU, and national level, where the WUC has successfully contributed to numerous achievements, which led to the international community developing policies and actions to help secure the rights of the Uyghurs,” Brunelle-Duceppe said in the letter.
Beijing has repeatedly denied mistreating Uyghurs, with China’s state news agency, Xinhua, describing the allegations as “lies” concocted by “anti-China forces in the West,” according to VOA.
“Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion at all, but about combating violent terrorism and separatism,” stated Xinhua in a 2021 article, as it pointed out the region has experienced economic and social development.
The Chinese embassy in Washington criticized the World Uyghur Congress’ nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“It is hoped that the prize will contribute to global peace and development, rather than falling into a political tool at the disposal of a few politicians,” Chinese embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu told VOA in an email.
“The so-called ‘World Uyghur Congress’ has close linkages with terrorist organizations. Nominating such an organization for the Nobel Peace Prize is highly detrimental to world peace and is a great irony of the Nobel Peace Prize,” the mail added, according to VOA
Last August, the UN human rights office released a report on Xinjiang, which stated that China has committed “serious human rights violations” against the Uyghur. The report also stated that China has committed to “other predominantly Muslim communities” in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
“The Chinese government has perpetrated the same lies for decades,” Zumretay Arkin, advocacy manager of the World Uyghur Congress, told VOA.
“The fact that the WUC was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is proof that the free and democratic world has recognized the World Uyghur Congress’ work as valuable and important. Instead of defaming such organizations, the Chinese government should listen to the democratic world,” VOA quoted Arkin saying.
According to the group’s website, the World Uyghur Congress was founded in 2004, in Munich, Germany, after the East Turkistan National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress merged into one organization. (ANI)