From left to right: Mr. Dolkun Isa, WUC Secretary General, Dr. Hassan Aydinli, ITF EU Representative and Mr. Imerov Abdulmuttelip, President of Belgium Uyghur Association.
In solidarity with the Uyghur people of East Turkistan Dr. Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative, attended the Conference :
50 YEARS AFTER TEST 596: CHINA'S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME IN EAST TURKESTAN AND ITS IMPACT TODAY at the European Parliament in Brussels on 29th February 2012.
From 1964-1996, 46 confirmed nuclear detonations have taken place at Lop Nor in East Turkistan(also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) and 22 underground tests were undertaken. 200,000 people have died and at least 1.5 million people have been affected by radioactive material during the 32 years of nuclears tests at Lop Nor.
To help lift this silence, László Tőkés MEP, in cooperation with Kristiina Ojuland MEP and Vytautas Landsbergis MEP, convened a conference, ‘50 Years After Test 596: China’s Nuclear Programme in East Turkestan and Its Impact Today’ at the European Parliament in Brussels on 29 February 2012 in collaboration with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), and the Belgian Uyghur Association.
The conference, ’50 Years After Test 596: China’s Nuclear Programme in East Turkestan and Its Impact Today’, presented a range of experts to testify on an issue that has unjustly received scant attention. One of the experts is Uyghur doctor Enver Tohti, who at great personal risk helped to raise awareness of the issue’s urgency in the documentary Death on the Silk Road.
Between 1964 and 1996, the People’s Republic of China conducted 46 nuclear tests in East Turkestan, the homeland of millions of Uyghurs. These were the largest series of nuclear tests in the world ever to be conducted in an inhabited area. Some of the bombs were 300 times more powerful than the one exploded in Hiroshima.
23 of the tests conducted by the government of the People’s Republic of China were atmospheric, with nuclear fall out reaching as far as Europe. In addition, research indicates that radiation from the 23 tests conducted underground has reached countries as far away as Japan.
The effect the 46 tests have had on the Uyghur people and their land remains largely undocumented. What is known is that rates of cancer in the region are higher than in the rest of China and cases of leukemia, malignant lymphoma and lung cancer are all elevated. Approximately 8 out of 10 children in the villages near to the four nuclear testing sites at Lop Nur are born with cleft palates, and congenital deformities such as enlarged stomachs are common. Besides the tragic human consequences, environmental concerns over contamination of water, air and land in inhabited areas loom large. Compounding the state of affairs are allegations by former Soviet scientist Ken Alibek that a grave accident occurred at a biological weapons plant near Lop Nur in the 1980s.
In the face of contrary evidence, the Chinese government has denied the existence of far-reaching and ill effects arising from its 46 nuclear tests at Lop Nur. It has routinely denied access to independent researchers investigating the effects of the tests, while at the same time suppressing any internal documents that point to the existence of a human and environmental tragedy. The conference in Brussels is a huge step in ending the silence.
Mr. Andrew Swan, UNPO Programme Manager
Opening remarks by:
László Tőkés MEP
Kristina ojuland MEP, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Estonia
Vyautas Landsergis MEP
Dolkun Isa, WUC Secretary General
Marino Busdachin, UNPO Secretary General
Panel 1: Three Decades of Nuclear Testing in East Turkestan
Moderator: Andrew Swan, UNPO Programme Manager
48 Detonation Later: The Human ost of the CCP's Nuclear Programme
Dr. Enver Tohti, Uyghur Surgeon and Independent Researcher.
Nuclear Tibet: Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Waste on the Tibetan Plateau
Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director, International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
Nuclear Devastation in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, the Urals and Siberia
Robert Knoth, photojournalist and Antoinette de Jong, Journalist, authors of "Certificate no. 000358, Nuclear Devastation in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, the Urals and Siberia"
Documentary Screening Death on the Silk Road Channel 4 Television (UK).
Question and Answer Session with Dr. Enver Tohti on his experience
Panel 2: Redressing the Past to Benefit the Future
Moderator: Martin Schulthes, UNPO Project Coordinator
Defining the Scale of the Problem behind Beijing's 'Wall of Secrecy'
Hanno Schedler, Deputy Head of Asi Department, Society for Threatened Peoples (STP)
An Assessment of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue
Jean-Marie Rogue, EU Liaison Officer, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
International Compensation Models and Fair Redress: French Redress for Victims in Polynesia
Dominique Lalanne, Chair Armes Nucléaires STOP, Expert for Observatoire des Armements, France