Open letter to Uyghur Tribunal: why wasn’t my testimony chosen?
Abdurehim Gheni Uyghur
Uyghur Tribunal advocated and requested by World Uyghur Congress and witnesses’ live testimony have brought close attention of many observers around world.
I specifically allocated my time to hear the live testimonies and supported them as much as I can. As a witness who lost 19 family members during Chinese atrocities against Uyghur nation, I subscribed and applied for second live hearing of Uyghur Tribunal in the end of June, 2021 and contacted Behtiyar Omar, the founder of Uyghur Judicial Database, to give my testimony of three substantial points of Uyghur genocide.
First, the disappearance of 19 of my family members and all necessary evidences as well as demolishing of my family’s house, more than 2000 square meters, decorated in Uyghur traditional architectural way.
Secondly, due-lingual education policies followed by China’s Western Region Development plan, which, in turn, caused the mass migration of Han Chinese teachers to East Turkestan and destruction of Uyghur education system. As a proof, I have the testimony of the transformation of Aksu Municipal Normal College into Aksu Experimental High School.
I gave the testimony of forced labor at schools for third point. This comes from my direct experience of a-month-long, forced cotton collecting labor along with the students for two years when I was working at Normal College of Aksu Municipal. Same time, I gave the level of oppression against Uyghur students during this forced labor. Off course, I stress the importance of this testimony as it became solid evidence during US Congress Hearing against Uyghur oppression when I contacted and provided the proof of this forced labor to Rabia Kadir, the former president of WUC.
After hearing my testimony, Behtiyar Omar told me that my testimony was very crucial and he would translate my testimony into English and sent it to Uyghur Tribunal Board for review and recommend me as key witness during live hearing. However, I contacted him in August for inquiring the list of people who were confirmed for the live hearing during Uyghur Tribunal. He told me that, as an answer, there wad no news about the list and he would inform me any updates. After a week, I informed me that my live testimony was refused. Then, I expressed my willing of giving testimony through internet instead of live testimony upon my refusal. He told me that the Uyghur Tribunal Board Members are responsible for screening witnesses and he had nothing can do.
However, when I asked if I had any rights to ask from board members about the basis of my refusal, his answer was positive.
So that, I wrote to Uyghur Tribunal website to inquire about my refusal of why I couldn’t be the one who would testify lively against China’s genocide over Uyghurs. As my family members are the greatest victims of China’s genocide, I hope that they give me the most persuasive answer.
Uyghur Tribunals is the court of proving Uyghur Genocide. What are their criteria to approve a person as a live witness? What evidences and proves to be qualified as an testifier? What are the conditions to be internet testifier? Many Uyghurs has been testified for their family members, mostly one or two. How can I be persuaded not being selected as a witness of 19 family members disappearing?
Abdurehim Gheni Uyghur