Weekly News Brief on Uighurs and China – June 9

Uighur Times 




Chinese regime’s defense minister defending Tiananmen square massacre and concentration camps in occupied East Turkistan

Asia’s premier defense summit, the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, took place from May 31 to June 2 in Singapore. On the last day of the summit, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe defended Beijing’s handling of the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the ongoing mass internment of millions of Uighurs in concentration camps in occupied East Turkistan (aka Xinjiang, China). Wei said that both measures (i.e. mass killings) were necessary to ensure China’s so-called ‘stability and development’.

“People’s quality of life [in Xinjiang] has improved and they enjoy secure and stable lives,” he said in a question-and-answer session after his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

He also tried to fool the world by saying, “China’s rapid economic growth and its citizens’ improved living standards validated Beijing’s actions.”

“Therefore, China’s policy in Xinjiang is absolutely right.”, Wei said.

Read the full story at https://sg.news.yahoo.com, June 2, 2019


Pelosi Statement on the Uyghur Crisis

Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement as the World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur Human Rights Project began their conference, “Confronting Atrocities in China: The Global Response to the Uyghur Crisis”:

“The unabated oppression that the Uyghur communities face at the hands of the Chinese is a challenge to the conscience of the entire world.  The bipartisan House of Representatives salutes the courageous men and women of the World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur Human Rights Project and all who continue the fight for the freedoms and democratic future that the Uyghur people deserve.  Our hearts and minds are with the Uyghur communities, who face religious persecution, including harsh restrictions on observing Ramadan, which just ended this week.  Today, and on all days, we reaffirm our commitment to sharing the stories and sharing the outrage of the millions of Uyghurs who are being watched, followed, disappeared in internment camps and made to suffer ‘re-education’ efforts.

Read the full story at https://www.speaker.gov, June 6, 2019


Over 50 journalists detained in Xinjiang, China (aka East Turkistan)

A new report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project documents the detention of at least 58 journalists in the Xinjiang region in China. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the detention of the journalists and welcomed the report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

In the recent report, Detained and Disappeared: Intellectuals Under Assault in the Uyghur Homeland the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) revealed that 58 journalists, editors and publishers from the Xinjiang region have been detained or disappeared since March 2017, which coincides with the adoption of the Regulations on De-extremification. According to various reports, people have been tortured in detention camps and families have no communication with the detainees.

Read the full story at https://www.ifj.org,  June 4, 2019


After Tiananmen, the U.S. Protected Chinese Students in America. 30 Years Later, Uighurs Say It’s Time to Do the Same for Them

After the crackdown on student protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, many Chinese students studying in the U.S. were fearful of returning home as authorities continued to arrest supporters of the uprising.

Jian Tang, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, described to the New York Times in January 1990 what he believed his fate would be if he was forced to go back to China: “A labor camp, perhaps. Or imprisonment. Or execution.” At least one, protest leader Shen Tong, was arrested and spent two months in prison after moving back to Beijing from Boston University.

Arfat Erkin, a Chinese student who came to the U.S. to study economics in 2015, has a similar response today when asked what would happen to him if he went back home. “If I’m lucky, I will be sentenced to prison or sent to the camp –– if I’m lucky. If I’m not lucky, I think I will just disappear without any information,” he tells TIME.

Read the full story at https://time.com,  May 31, 2019


US Officials Step up Calls for End to China’s Uyghur Internment Camps

“We do worry about the effects these will have on regional security and potential for radicalization. Treating people this way can certainly lead to those outcomes,” said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver.

“The Chinese government’s rampant abuse of the human rights and religious freedoms of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang is an urgent issue impacting the broader region,” said David Ranz, acting deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs.

New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith, one of the sponsors of the Magnitsky drive, tweeted that “it is time the UN stepped up and recognize this genocide […] there needs to be an outpouring of support & sympathy for the Uyghur people.”

Read the full story at https://www.rfa.org,  June 6, 2019


Xinjiang (aka East Turkistan) Camp Whistle-blower Sauytbay Seeks Asylum Elsewhere

Sairagul Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh Chinese woman who blew the whistle last year on the Chinese government’s massive internment camps in Xinjiang, has reportedly left Kazakhstan. According to Sauytbay’s lawyer, Aiman Umarova, Sauytbay and her family left for Sweden on June 3.

Sauytbay came into the international spotlight last summer. In late May 2018, she’d been arrested at Beijing’s behest after crossing illegally into Kazakhstan, where her husband and two children have citizenship. In damning testimony last July,  Sauytbay explained that she had been working in “what is called in China a political camp” since the beginning of 2018. “In fact, it is a prison located in the mountains,” Sauytbay said.

Read the full story at https://thediplomat.com,  June 3, 2019


US praises Kazakhstan over Uighur rights

The United States on Thursday praised Kazakhstan for not turning back Uighurs fleeing neighboring China, which has rounded up an estimated one million people from the mostly Muslim ethnic group.

David Ranz, a US diplomat in charge of Central Asia, pointed to Kazakhstan as an example as he addressed a symposium in Washington on the mounting human rights concerns in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang.

Estimates cited by a UN panel say that more than one million Uighurs have been detained, a massive incarceration that the United States has likened to Nazi Germany’s concentration camps.

Read the full story at https://www.yahoo.com,  June 6, 2019