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East Turkistani Grassroots Organizations Protest Volkswagen’s Ties to Uyghur Forced Labor

Starting March 6th, the East Turkistan Youth Congress has organized global protests pressuring Volkswagen to cut ties with its Chinese factories engaging in the forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other ethnic Turkic peoples. Volkswagen is among at least 82 other well-known global brands revealed by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute to have ties to Uyghur forced labor supply chains in China.

In their report titled “Uyghurs for Sale”, the ASPI finds that the Chinese government is facilitating the mass transfer of Uyghur, Kazakhs, and other ethnic Turkic peoples across the country to work as free labor sources. Oftentimes, these Uyghur forced laborers are sent directly from China’s concentration camps.

By protesting Volkswagen’s close relationship to factories actively engaging in the enslavement of Uyghur peoples, the East Turkistan Youth Congress also aims to raise awareness on China’s unprecedented genocidal campaign against the people of East Turkistan taking place in Chinese-occupied East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang, or new colony, in Chinese).

So far, the East Turkistan Youth Congress has carried out Volkswagen Boycotting Protests across 14 cities in more than ten countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and France. In the current stage of their plan, The East Turkistan Youth Congress is also collaborating with other East Turkistan grassroots organizations including the East Turkistan Association of Canada, Uyghur Youth Union in Norway, Austria Uyghur Association, Australians for Free East Turkistan to facilitate further action.

According to Mr. Kashgari, Public Affiars Officer of the East Turkistan Youth Congress, the continuing, global protests call on Volkswagen to stop their complicity in legitimzing the genocide carrying out by the Chinese regime in East Turkistan. Volkswagen needs to stop supporting the Chinese regime by doing business with them as they did with Nazi Germany.

As highlighted on the featured protest leaflet, Mr. Kashgari said, “Volkswagen we have asked Volkswagen to stop doing business with Chinese companies in which Uyghurs and other Turkic people are forced to work against their will, therefore by doing this protest, we are asking help from consumers to show Volkswagen where humanity stands.” This protest used the hashtag #VWFinancesGenocide and projects to add more grassroots organizations to join in their team.

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