Weekly News Brief on Uighurs and China – June 28

by Uyghur Times

Young Uyghur Tour Director Dies Under Questioning by Xinjiang Authorities: Mother


A young Uyghur woman who worked as the deputy director of a tourist agency in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) has died while being questioned in official custody, according to a recording of her mother that was secreted out of the country by members of the Uyghur exile community.


Eli’s body was brought to her home, but her parents were not allowed to see her, Yasin said, and she was taken away for burial about an hour later.


Yasin said Eli’s colleagues at the tourist agency asked authorities why she had been arrested, but were told to “mind their own business,” lest they end up in an internment camp, where up to 1.5 million Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” ideas have been held since April 2017.


Police handed Yasin 49,000 yuan (U.S. $7,125) following the burial, which she said included Eli’s pension contributions and a “death payment.”


Read the full story at rfa.org, June 24, 2019




Uyghur Chauffeur Dies Following Interrogation in Xinjiang Internment Camp


A Uyghur chauffeur, In July last year, Qaharjan Qawul, 41 has died while detained in an internment camp in Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu) city, in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), according to local officials and a Uyghur exile group.


It was during the investigation into his case that authorities learned that Qawul had previously travelled to Turkey.


In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an apparent reference to the policies of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, cited “massive human rights violations in Xinjiang where over a million people are being held in a humanitarian crisis that is on the scale of what took place in the 1930s.”


Read the full story at rfa.org, June 28, 2019



Uyghur activist urges G-20 to confront China’s human rights issues


A prominent political activist for China’s Uyghur ethnic minority on Friday urged the Group of 20 major economies to tackle systematic oppression of her people by the Chinese government, amid growing anxiety worldwide about Beijing’s human rights violations.

“I am here to convey voices of little children left in our motherland to people of the 20 countries,” Rebiya Kadeer said at a press conference in Osaka, hours after the G-20 leaders kicked off their two-day summit in the western Japan city.

“Now, many people are killed and dead across the globe, but there is no ethnic group that has been oppressed and slaughtered like the Uyghur,” Kadeer said. “What China is doing is the worst in the world.”


“It is globally very significant (for Abe) to have raised the issues at the important meeting,” Kadeer said. “I hope the Uyghur issue will be definitely discussed tomorrow” at the G-20 summit.


Read the full story at kyodonews.net, June 28, 2019

After their grandfather’s death, a family in Calgary grapples with the fate of the Uyghurs in China


Living in Calgary, Babur Ilchi and his family didn’t know for two weeks that his maternal grandfather had died in their country of origin.

In fact, they didn’t even know that the grandfather, Nurmuhemmet Tohti, had been detained during the winter.

His grandfather was a prominent Uyghur writer. He was among hundreds of thousands of minority Muslims, perhaps as many as a million, who have been held in indoctrination camps in China, raising concerns of human-rights groups, the United Nations and foreign envoys.

Mr. Tohti was recently released but his family said being in custody was fatal for a 70-year-old with diabetes and heart problems. “Not giving him proper medical care that he needed … is tantamount to killing him,” Mr. Ilchi said in an interview.

PEN America said in a statement that Mr. Tohti’s death was “an appalling and tragic loss at a time when China is trying to erase the cultural and intellectual life of the Uyghurs.”

“We have few people like him, talented and well-known. When we lose those kind of people, Uyghurs become voiceless,” Mr. Ayup said in an interview.



Read the full story at theglobeandmail.com June 24, 2019




East Turkestan: Rights Groups Welcome Declaration on the Persecution of the Uyghurs


The Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum (TIRFF), a multi-faith gathering of religious leaders, government representatives, and NGO leaders aimed at promoting religious freedom around the world, was held in Taiwan from May 29th-June 1st 2019. This year’s theme was “Rising to the Challenge”. On this occasion, UNPO’s Advocacy & Training Coordinator, Lucia Parrucci, held a workshop on Religious Freedom and Unrepresented Peoples. The forum also presented the opportunity for participants to speak out against the persecution of religious minorities such as the Uyghurs in East Turkestan, which resulted in a joint declaration.


“The Uyghur crisis in China has rightly shocked the conscience of Asian leaders of all religions and beliefs. Speaker after speaker at the TIRFF forum raised the alarm and vowed that the persecution of Uyghurs cannot be allowed to stand,” said Ms. Louisa Greve, UHRP Director of External Affairs, who presented UHRP’s research and policy recommendations at the Forum.

UHRP, WUC, UEN, Campaign for Uyghurs, and UNPO applaud this initiative and encourage urgent action by parliamentarians, governments, private companies, scholars and universities, and the UN in response to policies aimed at the erasure of freely expressed religious belief, practice and identity across China.

To maintain the pressure on the Chinese government to observe international standards of religious freedom and to deescalate state policies of ethno-religious persecution of the Uyghurs, U.S. Congress should act swiftly to pass The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, currently pending in the U.S. Senate and House. Additional action to speak out for Uyghurs and close the camps can be found on the UHRP What You Can Do page.


Read the full story at unpo.org June 27, 2019



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