News Archive

Weekly News Brief on Uyghurs and China – April 14

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

With Pressure and Persuasion, China Deflects Criticism of Its Camps for Muslims

China has been fighting criticism that it has detained as many as one million members of Muslim ethnic minorities in indoctrination camps in its western Xinjiang region (occupied East Turkistan). But at the two-day conclave in early March, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — a group of 57 nations that has been a vocal defender of the Rohingyas and Palestinians — handed Beijing a significant victory and praised China for “providing care to its Muslim citizens.”

Even Turkey, who previously called the “systematic assimilation” of the Uighurs a “great shame for humanity” and urged China to close the camps, refrained from raising the issue of Uighurs when the country’s delegate was given the floor in Abu Dhabi, even though Turkey is the current chair of OIC.

Uighurs were devastated by such shameful betrayal of the Muslim countries. Fatimah Abdulghafur, an Uighur doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said “We don’t feel that global brotherhood love from them, They sell their soul, they sell their faith, for money. They know that millions of people are suffering.”

Read the full story at nytimes.com, April 8, 2019

‘We Need to Keep Our Language Alive’: Inside a Uighur Bookshop In Istanbul

Uighurs, the descendants of a vast Central Asian empire, are now among the main targets of China’s latest “anti-terrorism” campaign in Xinjiang(occupied East Turkistan),China. While Uighur culture and language are under the threat of extinction, Uighur booksellers far from the reach of the Chinese government are protecting their language from being erased. “We want these books to exist,” says Abduljelil Turan, the owner of Teklimakan Uygur Neshiriyet (Publishing House), which may be Turkey’s oldest Uyghur-language publishing house. “People here, we need to keep our language alive.”

As writers in East Turkistan fall silent, publishers in the Uyghur diaspora hope to keep their language and literary history alive for the next generation by printing and distributing Uyghur texts.

Read the full story at psmag.com, April 10, 2019

EU calls out Beijing on human rights but activists want harder line against China’s Xinjiang (a.k.a. East Turkistan) and Tibet policy

The European Union called out China on human rights abuses at their annual joint summit, while hundreds of human rights campaigners in Brussels streets pressed the bloc to be more vocal on Xinjiang (China-occupied East Turkistan) and Tibet. European Council President Donald Tusk said the union raised human rights with China, but he did not say which issues were brought up.

Ryan Barry, policy coordinator at the World Uyghur Congress based in Munich, Germany, said “It’s an absolutely urgent issue, and a crime against humanity, against Uyghurs and Tibetans, and it will spread to other countries if something is not done, The EU must put human rights first and stand up for its values. Now is the moment, and action has to be taken, because this is not acceptable.”

Jo Leiden, president of the EU parliament delegation on relations with China, said “The suspicion is that economic interests will outweigh human rights values,” he said, adding that the EU and China had been “drifting apart” rather than moving together on issues such as human rights and governance.

Read the full story at scmp.com, April 10, 2019

Rally Calls for End of Uighur Muslim Concentration Camps

Uighur Muslims with the support of Sound Vision and Burma Task Force organized a mass rally in the nation’s capital on April 6, 2019 to free the Uighur people, who continue to face systematic, escalating persecution in China-occupied East Turkistan. World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur Human Rights Project took lead of the program, with Uyghur leader Omar Kannat at the helm as the Master of Ceremonies. Sister rallies were also held in Los Angeles and Houston.

A thousand-strong crowd sent a strong message that such brazen violations of human rights are unacceptable and called on the U.S. government to act. With one voice, speakers declared that the time for talk had passed, and that action was now needed. They called for political support for the two pieces of legislation that will put pressure on China to change its inhumane policy, and demanded the US Congress to pass the legislation. Statements from several senators’ offices as well as the State Department’s Office of Religious Freedom were read from the stage.

Read the full story at muslimlinkpaper.com and bitterwinter.org, April 11, 2019

‘Uyghur People Fighting For Their Basic Rights And For Greater Democracy In China’

In this article, Rushan Abbas, an Uyghur human rights activist and the Founder for Campaign for Uyghurs, explains and analyzes how and why the Chinese government has been brutally persecuting the Uyghurs and other ethnic minority groups in the the China-occupied East Turkistan under different labels ever since its occupation in 1949.

Since 2001, Beijing rebranded the effort as a “War on Terror.” Starting from April 2017, the situation deteriorated rapidly. Everything that makes the Uyghurs unique has been treated as an abnormality and targeted: language, culture, history, religion and ethnic identity. Today, all normal religious activities in Islam are banned, and labelled as “religious extremism,” under the pretext of the “People’s War on Terror.” Under this pretext China has developed a surveillance and police state, complete with DNA collection, ubiquitous cameras, facial-recognition software & GPS tracking devices on vehicles, and QR codes on Uyghur homes. The entire population of East Turkestan has become the victim of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative as the final solution for the imperialistic Chinese dream of “Made in China 2025”.

Rushan Abbas explains that a key reason for this cultural genocide is because East Turkistan lies in a geographically important location for Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as the gateway from China to Central Asia and the rest of the world. The BRI has put Uyghurs homeland at the very center of China’s geopolitical and economic ambitions. It is for this reason, and Xi Jinping’s explicitly assimilatory policies, that the Chineses Communist Party has adopted a strategy of complete control and domination of the Uyghur people.

Read the full story at nepal24hours.com April 11, 2019

China’s AI-based prisons – both indoors and outdoors – offer a warning of how privacy may die elsewhere

China’s crackdown on freedom of speech has been accompanied by an equally brutal attack on privacy. Nowhere is the use of surveillance by the Chinese authorities more thoroughgoing than in the Western province of Xinjiang (occupied East Turkistan). An increasing number of detailed and credible reports have revealed how hundreds of thousands of China’s Turkic-speaking Uyghur population are being held in concentration camps where Uyghurs are indoctrinated and pressured to renounce their Muslim culture. Even outside the camps, cities in East Turkistan are effectively open-air prisons.

The high-tech nature of the control of East Turkistan is described in a new article from Logic magazine. At the heart of the surveillance lies the region’s “Integrated Joint Operations Platform” (IJOP).

The “success” of the repression of the Uyghurs is likely to be extended to the rest of China. According to the Wall Street Journal, the man behind the crackdown in East Turkistan is now “setting the tone for the country’s shift toward harsher, technology-driven authoritarian rule.” China is also starting to export its extreme surveillance technologies, even to Western countries like the United Kingdom.

Read the full story at privateinternetaccess.com April 13, 2019