December 2020

Independence activist

Uyghur diaspora remembers pro-independence activist Isa Yusuf Alptekin on the anniversary of his death – Radio Free Asia

Members of the Uyghur diaspora recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the death of Isa Yusuf Alptekin, one of the ethnic group’s most prominent intellectuals and a figure who dedicated his life to Beijing’s independence in the Uyghur Autonomous Region. of Xinjiang (XUAR).

Alptekin was born in Yengisar County (in Chinese, Yingjisha), in what was then Kashgar (Kashi) Prefecture of the Qing Dynasty, in 1901. At the end of 1949, following the Chinese Communist invasion from the Uyghur region, he left China and finally relocated to Turkey in 1954.

In 1960, Alptekin established the East Turkestan Expatriate Society in Istanbul, using the name preferred by many Uyghurs for their homeland, and later the East Turkestan Foundation. He fought tirelessly for the freedom of his people until his death on December 17, 1995.

During his half-century struggle for independence, Alptekin has traveled the world attending international conferences to raise awareness of the situation in XUAR, where Uyghurs are discriminated against and cannot practice their Muslim religious traditions, using their own language and preserving their culture, despite the protections of Chinese law.

Hamuthan Göktür, who worked for Alptekin from 1965 to 1995, told RFA’s Uyghur service that the late intellectual had made a significant contribution to the recognition of the Uyghur independence movement in Turkey.

“If you asked someone in Turkey where they heard about the East Turkestan cause, that there was a region and a country called East Turkestan, they would say Isa Yusuf Alptekin,” he said. declared.

After being blinded in a traffic accident in 1978, Alptekin did not give up his campaign for the independence of East Turkestan. He founded a publishing center in Istanbul in 1980 and the East Turkestan Foundation in 1985.

“The torch of independence”

Omer Kanat, executive director of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) and chairman of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC) executive committee, worked with Alptekin for over seven years, starting in 1980.

“Mr. Isa tirelessly waved the flag of independence, the torch of independence,” he said. “In his final days, Mr. Isa spoke of our homeland, of our nation… he wouldn’t talk about anything else. “

In addition to publishing in newspapers and magazines, holding press conferences, giving statements to reporters, and writing letters to leaders of various countries, Alptekin has also written numerous articles and books. Many of his writings have become important sources in Uyghur studies today.

WUC President Dolkun Isa called Alptekin “not only a politician but also an opinion writer”, noting that he had also written numerous books, several of which were published in English, Turkish, in Arabic and other languages.

From his arrival in Turkey in 1954 until his death in 1995, Alptekin met with all Turkish presidents and prime ministers, as well as several ministers, to discuss the Uyghur issue and address the plight of Uyghur migrants in Turkey.

“He spoke eloquently and he had a human demeanor,” said Kanat of the UHRP.

“I was with him when he met world leaders … If you paid attention, it seemed from the words he used and the way he interacted with people that the leaders of two countries met. “

Isa Yusuf Alptekin was buried in Topkapi Cemetery, where former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and former President Turgut Özal are buried. His funeral was attended by Turkish President Süleyman Demirel and several ministers, and major Turkish TV channels covered the service live. His legacy lives on through the work he did for the Uyghur community and in the many parks, streets and schools that bear his name in Turkish cities.

Reported by Erkin Tarim for the RFA Uyghur service. Translated by Uyghur service. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

read more
Independence activist

Hong Kong independence activist Andy Chan acquitted of assaulting police, says case is evidence of “indiscriminate arrests”

Former leader of the now banned Hong Kong National Party, Andy Chan, was acquitted on Saturday of two counts of assaulting police officers. The pro-independence leader was also cleared of charges of illegal assembly linked to a demonstration in Sheung Shui last year.

A magistrate at the West Kowloon Magistrate’s Court handed down the judgment citing the prosecution’s inability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Chan was the person identified in footage taken during the protest last July.

Banned Hong Kong National Independence Party founder Andy Chan addresses media outside of West Kowloon magistrates ?? Hong Kong court on December 12, 2020. Photo: Daniel Suen / AFP.

“This case shows us that there have been indiscriminate arrests and accusations, and I am fortunate to have been acquitted,” Chan told reporters after leaving the courthouse. “But many others are already harassed by these indiscriminate arrests and accusations, even if these prosecutions are ultimately unsuccessful.”

“No matter where we are Hong Kongers, in prison, in the UK, in the US or in Hong Kong anywhere, we have to persist and survive,” he said. “I hope that any Hong Konger in any corner of the world will survive and continue to work towards our common goal for the future.”

“Today, I think Hong Kong is not at its worst. We’re far enough from the worst, ”Chan said. “How could there be intact eggs under an overturned nest?” Everyone in Hong Kong will have to face their tribulations, it is my belief. ”

Chan was charged with participating in an illegal gathering in Sheung Shui on July 13, 2019. He was also charged with hitting a police sergeant’s helmet from behind.

In a 24-page decision, a magistrate ruled that the prosecution had failed to identify beyond a reasonable doubt that the individuals shown in the footage taken at the protest were the same person. Since both individuals wore generic black clothing with everything but their eyebrows, glasses and ears covered, the magistrate ruled that there were not enough distinct and identifiable features to identify them.

Chan is the founder of the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), which was the first company to be banned under the Companies Ordinance since the 1997 handover.

read more
Home rule

SNP News: Nicola Sturgeon urged to include third ‘home rule’ option in independence vote | Politics | New

Scottish Labor have hinted that if another independence vote takes place it should include a ‘home rule’ option that could allow Scotland to stay in the UK but have more power Politics. The concept is similar to Greenland, which obtained “home settlement” from Denmark in 1979 and was seen as a stepping stone to full independence.

Greenland is responsible for the majority of policy areas, including police, the judiciary, aviation, border controls, and financial regulation and supervision.

However, Denmark still retains control over monetary policy and foreign affairs, including defense.

According to the Times, the concept was put forward by party leader Richard Leonard, who hinted that the party could support the inclusion of a third option on a ballot that would give voters the opportunity to support more than powers for Holyrood.

Mr Leonard said: “I think there is a larger point that has come out in recent months which concerns the imbalance of power that still exists.”

He argued that the UK was “still extremely centralized”, saying political power was concentrated “around the City of London and around Westminster and Whitehall”.

Sir Keir Starmer is expected to give his views on Scottish independence on Friday.

The latest poll by Ipsos Mori places Scottish Labor third in the race at Holyrood with 14 percent of constituency votes and 16 percent of regional list votes.

This means the party is expected to lose four seats next spring on current projections.

READ MORE: Sturgeon stroke: Sir John Curtice warns SNP independence far from certain

He argued that there should not be another referendum on independence next year amid the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic, the rollout of vaccination and any new wave of coronavirus.

In response, SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown, MSP, said: “Labor has been promising Scottish autonomy for over a century.

“Even now – facing the most extreme Conservative government in living memory, which intends to tear up the devolved regulations – they still speak the same language. “

read more