News Archive

Uyghur Weekly News Brief on Uyghurs and China – April 8

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April 1, 2019

Chinese camp system evolving into “Xinjiang Archipelago”?

For the Uighurs, an individual’s level of religious devotion and Chinese-language skills are factors determining the severity of punishment, a researcher says. China’s crackdown in Xinjiang province (occupied East Turkistan) has attracted increasing international attention over the past year. All Muslim groups in the region are now finding themselves targeted, new research suggests. And the internment camp system has evolved into a hierarchy of punishments, ranging from the loss of travel privileges to forced labor to incarceration. Kasikci describes five levels of punishment for those who run afoul of authorities in Xinjiang (occupied East Turkistan). The harshest level is a prison, followed by internment camps and forced-labor factories. Less harsh levels are house arrest and passport confiscation, which, in effect, restrict an individual to his or her town or city of residence.

Read the full story at eurasianet.org, March 29, 2019

New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern talks about Uighurs with Chinese leader Xi Jinping

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has wrapped up a whirlwind official visit to Beijing, where she met with Xi Jinping, the leader of the Chinese regime. Among other issues, she also raised the issue of China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in its far-western Xinjiang (East Turkistan) region, where up to 3 million innocent people are reportedly being held in concentration camps. When asked by reporters if she was “reticent to lay the blame at China’s feet” over repeated Uyghur claims of mistreatment. Ms. Ardern said:  “Not at all. I raised the issue directly with the Premier and with the President. You can’t do much more than that.”

Read the full story at abc.net.au, April 1, 2019

China threatened other countries not to attend UN meeting on East Turkistan(Xinjiang) human rights violations

The government of the Chinese regime warned United Nations delegates not to attend a panel event on human rights violations in East Turkistan(Xinjiang) last month, where the Chinese regime faced international criticism for detaining reported millions of ethnic minority people (the majority of whom are Uighurs) in extrajudicial “reeducation” centers (concentration camps). A letter obtained by NGO Human Rights Watch from Chinese ambassador Yu Jianhua cautioned delegates against joining the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. In the appeal dated March 7, Yu said: “In the interest of our bilateral relations and continued multilateral cooperation, I hereby kindly request your delegation, bearing in mind the political motivation behind the above-mentioned side event, not to co-sponsor, participate in or be present at this side event.” The panel event was jointly hosted by the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom on March 13.

Read the full story at hongkongfp.com, April 1, 2019

Bitter Winter: Thousands of Uighurs Detained in a Prison in the Gansu Province

As Bitter Winter has previously reported, to hide the mass detention of Uighurs, the Chinese authorities are transferring large numbers of detainees from the overcrowded prisons and concentration camps in East Turkistan(Xinjiang) to other Chinese provinces, such as Shaanxi, Gansu, Heilongjiang, and others. According to the latest reports, at least 1,000 Uighurs are being detained at a prison in Gansu Province’s Wuwei city. Sources who reside in the city inform that, in the fall of 2018, a street leading to the city’s prison was cordoned off entirely for two days, and all vehicles and pedestrians were prohibited from passing through. Bitter Winter exposed earlier that innocent Uighurs were being sent to and detained at Cuijiagou Prison in Shaanxi Province’s Tongchuan city. According to the recent information, the detainees at the prison are being mistreated and abused. A local source told Bitter Winter, “Their hands and feet are shackled together. Even when sleeping, the shackles aren’t removed, making them maintain a stooping position 24 hours a day. If a detainee is disobedient, he or she might even be put to death. Upon hearing prison guards call out their name, some Uighurs are so scared that they tremble in fear, or even wet their pants.”

Read the full story at bitterwinter.org, April 2, 2019

China’s Han Super-state: The New Third Reich

More than a million people, for no reason other than their ethnicity or religion, are held in concentration camps in what Beijing calls the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and what traditional inhabitants of the area, the Uighurs, say is East Turkestan. In addition to Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs are also held in these facilities.  The camps, a crime against humanity, are spreading. China is now building similar facilities, given various euphemistic names such as “vocational training centers,” in Tibet, in China’s southwest. The Third Reich and the People’s Republic of China share virulent racism, in China politely referred to as “Han chauvinism.” The Han category, which is said to include about 92% of the population of the People’s Republic, is in truth the amalgamation of related ethnic groups. As a result of racism, many in China, including officials, “believe themselves to be categorically different from and impliedly superior to the rest of the humankind,” writes Fei-Ling Wang, author of The China Order: Centralia, World Empire, and the Nature of Chinese Power.

Read the full story at gatestoneinstitute.com, April 3, 2019

How Communist Chinese Regime Turned a City into a Prison-Story of Kashgar City and Uighurs

The New York Times’s chilling multimedia package on China’s use of “smart city” tech to create an open-air prison in East Turkistan (Xinjiang). The Chinese regime’s imprisonment of up to 3,000,000 Uighurs and other Muslims in concentration camps in Xinjiang province (Occupied East Turkistan) is well known, but less-well-understood are the systems of oppressive technology that are being deployed outside of these prison camps: mandatory mobile malware that spies on every step you take, used in combination with DNA-level surveillance and other tools. In a chilling, beautifully reported multimedia package, the New York Times’s Chris Buckley, Paul Mozur, and Austin Ramzy paint a picture of life in Kashgar, a historically significant city in Xinjiang (occupied East Turkistan) where the majority of the population are drawn from predominantly Muslim Uighurs.

Read the full story at boingboing.net and nytimes.com, April 4, 2019

The Communist Chinese Regime Confirms Detention of Australian Uighur’s Wife, Mother in East Turkistan (Xinjiang)

The Chinese regime has confirmed that the wife and mother of an Australian citizen of Uighur ethnicity are being detained in East Turkistan (Xinjiang) after Canberra pressed Beijing on their whereabouts. It was reported last year that the pregnant wife of Almas Nizamdin (Australian citizen) was arrested in 2017. Gulzeynep Abdureshit (Almas Nizamdin’s wife) had been preparing documents to join her husband in Australia at the time of her arrest. In an email dated April 1, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told Almas Nizamidin that the Chinese Embassy in Canberra had responded to its inquiry about his wife Gulzeynep Abdureshit (in Chinese, Buzainafu Abudourexiti) and mother Zulpiye Jalalidin (Zuyipiya Jiala), who was taken into custody in the XUAR in 2017 and 2018, respectively.  “I believe [my wife was arrested] because she studied in Egypt,” Almas Nizamdin said, adding that “now they know my family background, they are even more determined not to release her.” “They arrested my mother to take revenge on us—because my father is in America and I am living in Australia. They cannot [physically] do anything to us, so they took our loved ones to hurt us.”

Read the full story at rfa.org, April 5, 2019

Forced organ harvesting in Communist Chinese regime: What do you know about the world of forced organ harvesting?

Forced organ harvesting is when people are killed for the organ to be removed. The recipients are wealthy Chinese or transplant tourists who travel to China and pay a substantial sum to receive the transplant. The waiting times are extremely short and at times even vital organs are booked in advance. The victims are primarily people who follow the Buddha School practice of Falun Gong, along with Uighur Muslims (a Turkic ethnic group currently being detained in millions in East Turkistan), Tibetan Buddhists, and potentially House Church Christians.

Read the full story at healtheuropa.edu, April 5, 2019

The Chinese regime destroying mosques as U.S. Senators urge Americans to impose sanctions against key Chinese officials

“Where has this mosque gone?” tweeted Shawn Zhang, a University of British Columbia law student on Tuesday, referring to the Id’gah Mosque in Keriya county of East Turkistan (Xinjiang, China). The centuries-old building “disappeared in early 2018 despite [being] a Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at National Level,” meaning destruction would require State Council approval. The demolition of mosques and other historical places in East Turkistan has been reported earlier in the past 2 years. It’s been estimated that 90% of the mosques in East Turkistan have been destroyed or forcefully turned into non-religious places, for example, a bar or a storage room. Nevertheless, some major mosques (like the historical Id’gah Mosque in Kashgar and other major mosques) at the center of a town, county, or city have survived the first wave of ‘mosque cleansing’ among the ~10% mosques.  However, the recent news and satellite images are revealing is another wave of ‘mosque cleansing’ aimed at destroying even those major and historical mosques of hundreds of years of history. Among those are the central mosque (~800 years of history) in Keriya county in Khotan prefecture and the central mosque (~500 years of history) in Kargilik county in Kashgar prefecture of East Turkistan.

Read the full story at forbes.com, April 6, 2019

Uighurs in East Turkistan (occupied by China) Treated as “Terrorists”

Merely due to their ethnic identity, Uighurs in East Turkistan are subjected to surveillance and control by the Chinese authorities. Bitter Winter received a copy of a counterterrorism work plan issued by the Public Security Bureau of a county in China’s central Henan Province during the 2019 meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). According to the plan, upon coming across Uighurs from Xinjiang (occupied East Turkistan), police officers must report immediately to the counterterrorism office and carry out follow-up work. They must also gather information about their activities, related capital flow, online communications, religious activities, interactions and relationships, and events such as minute details as the purchase of goods. Uighurs are also closely tracked and monitored when traveling by bus or train. A source who requested anonymity provided Bitter Winter with a notice issued by a railway department in Henan province of China regarding the “disposition process for key focus groups,” Uighurs from East Turkistan being one of such focus groups.

Read the full story at bitterwinter.org, April 6, 2019

Bulldozing mosques: the latest tactic in China’s war against Uighur culture

The leveling of ancient sites in Xinjiang (occupied East Turkistan), alongside mass detention, is part of an attempt to destroy an entire Uighur society. Mosques are not the only targets. Whole cities are being redesigned to facilitate maximum security and surveillance of the local population. Sites of architectural interest such as the ancient city of Kashgar have been demolished and rebuilt to suit the needs of what the government proclaims will be a flourishing tourism industry in Xinjiang (occupied East Turkistan). And it’s not just the built heritage that is being destroyed. The bulldozer is also at work on communities, culture, and people’s lives. Everyday religious practice in Xinjiang (occupied East Turkistan) has been effectively banned. We can also see this targeting of culture and identity in new restrictions on the use of the Uyghur language, compulsory lessons in Chinese, the promotion of interethnic marriage, and the constant mobilization of ordinary Uighurs to demonstrate their patriotism by celebrating Chinese festivals and singing revolutionary songs. This is no targeted response to violent extremism, but a concerted campaign to hollow out a whole culture, to terrorize a whole people, and the Chinese government is using the west’s global war on terror to excuse its horrific atrocities against humanity.

Read the full story at theguardian.com, April 7, 2019