E-mail allegedly from WUC board member to Tibetans is fake
For immediate release
July 15, 2009, 8:45 pm EST
Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496
The Uyghur American Association (UAA) and World Uyghur Congress (WUC) would like to clarify that an e-mail alleged to have been sent by Alim Seytoff, vice president of UAA and spokesperson of WUC, on July 14 is fake and was not sent by Mr. Seytoff. The fake e-mail (pasted at the bottom of this press release) calls on Tibetans to participate in worldwide protests in solidarity with Uyghurs in East Turkestan. It was sent from an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, that is not associated with UAA or WUC, contains numerous misspellings, and lists an incorrect title for Mr. Seytoff.
A number of news agencies around the world have reported on the e-mail, believing it to be genuine, and have stated that it was sent to the office of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Among the media reporting this, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper published it as their headline news for July 16. The Apple Daily interviewed Chinese counterterrorism expert Li Wei, who described both overseas Uyghur organizations and the Tibetan government-in-exile as separatist organizations.
UAA and WUC, together with our close contacts, are frequently victims of e-mail impersonation and e-mail viruses. This malicious activity has only intensified in the wake of the recent unrest in East Turkestan, with numerous fake e-mails currently circulating in English and Uyghur, claiming to be from Uyghur organizations and/or containing viruses. Cybersecurity researchers have documented many sophisticated attacks against Uyghur, Tibetan and Falun Gong advocacy groups in recent years
(see, for example, this article: http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2008/03/24/Analysis-Cyberattacks-on-Tibet-groups/UPI-92601206373884/).
UAA and WUC believe these fake e-mails and viruses are being sent out by Chinese hackers in an attempt to hinder Uyghur human rights advocacy, damage the reputation of Uyghur human rights activists and confuse readers as to what message is being sent by UAA and WUC. Incorrect website links and e-mail addresses, similar to virus attachments, can be used to crash computers and to infiltrate e-mail communications and Internet activities.
The situation faced by the Uyghur and Tibetan people under the harsh policies of the Chinese government shares many similarities, including religious repression, cultural eradication, imprisonment, and widespread torture.
However, just as the Tibetan government-in-exile is not a separatist organization, UAA and WUC are not separatist organizations, and both UAA and WUC seek self-determination and greater human rights for the people of East Turkestan.
Below is the fake e-mail allegedly sent to Tibetan organizations (please note the correct e-mail addresses for those referred to are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and the correct website for UAA is http://www.uyghuramerican.org/):
From: Rebiya Kadeer
Date: July 14, 2009 6:07:12 AM EDT
To: (omitted due to privacy issues)
Subject: A call from Rebiya Kadeer: Please participate our world-wide protests
Dear (omitted due to privacy issues),
I am Alim Seytoff, spokesman of World Uyghru Congress (WUC) and general secratary of Uyghur American Association (UAA). I am writing to you on behalf of our president Ms. Rebiya Kadeer to ask for your kind help and possible cooperation, as we are common victims of Chinese imperialist colonization.
You must have learned about what happened in our homeland East Turkestan, almost the same as happened in your occupied country Tibet in 2008. We really appreciate the strong statement of support in the name of your 168 organizations all round the world. We are organizing world-wide protests in front of the Chinese embassies and consulates(To see detailed events, please visit our website www.uyghurameircan.com/events/). We are even thinking of organizing a world-action day. Therefore, we call on you and all other victims of Chinese communist brutal crackdown to firmly stand together to make our voice ever louder and stronger. United we stand, divided we lose.
Please circulate this letter to your member organizations and your supporters to ask them to join us in our protests. Many thanks and looking forward to your response.
Free East Turkestan!?Free Tibet!
Spokesman of World Uyghru Congress (WUC)?General Secratary of Uyghur American Association (UAA)?1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 300?Washington, DC 20006?Tel: (202) 349-1496?Fax: (202) 349-1491?Email: email@example.com? firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Uyghur American Association (UAA) works to promote the preservation and flourishing of a rich, humanistic and diverse Uyghur culture, and to support the right of the Uyghur people to use peaceful, democratic means to determine their own political future.
The UAA has undertaken the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) for the purpose of promoting improved human rights conditions for Uyghurs and other indigenous groups in East Turkestan, on the premise that the assurance of basic human rights will facilitate the realization of the community’s democratic aspirations.
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Uyghur American Association
1701 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20006
Tel: +1 (202) 349 1496
Fax: +1 (202) 349 1491