Protests were held in several parts of Bangladesh to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the Urumqi massacre, which occurred on July 5, 2009, in Xinjiang, when the Chinese government launched a crackdown against Uyghurs protesting against the killing of two Uyghurs, local media reported.

Thirteen years ago this month, Xinjiang experienced deadly riots caused by ethnic unrest, one of many turning points in the Chinese government’s increasingly draconian rule over the region home to the Uyghur ethnic group.

To mark the 13 anniversary of the riots, several demonstrations were held in places including Dhaka and Narayanganj.

In Narayanganj, people holding banners and posters created human chains and demonstrated against the Chinese communist government’s oppression of Uyghurs, with the support of Sanchetan Nagorik Samaj.

A discussion meeting was organised at National Press Club in Dhaka and the formation of a human chain and demonstration took place under the banner of the Bangladesh Social Activist Forum.

Bharat Bangladesh Sampriti Sangsad (BBSS) Welfare forum organised a cycle race in Dhaka, which was attended by a large number of people, coming forward in support of minority communities on the Chinese mainland.

Notably, on July 5, 2009, violent riots broke out in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang. The Chinese government launched a crackdown against Uyghurs protesting against the killing of two Uyghurs. Thousands of protestors were killed, disappeared or injured.

According to officials, a total of 197 people died, with 1,721 suffered injuries in the riot.

Chinese authorities have been accused of imposing forced labour, systematic forced birth control and torture, and separating children from incarcerated parents.

Subjecting minority groups to genocide, including mass arbitrary detention, forced labour, torture, forced sterilization, separation of children from parents and destruction of minority culture, China has been a major cause of human rights abuses against the community.