China sentences Uighur writer to 15 years in jail

Originally published by The Associated Press, 23 July 2010
  BEIJING — A Chinese court sentenced a Uighur journalist to 15 years in jail Friday for critical writings and comments he made to foreign media after last year’s deadly ethnic riots in China’s western Xinjiang region, a friend said.

 Halaite Niyaze was found guilty of “endangering national security” and sentenced following a one-day trial in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, said Ilham Tohti, an economist based in Beijing who is a friend of Niyaze. A man surnamed Wen who answered the phone at the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court’s criminal affairs department confirmed that Niyaze stood trial but said he could not confirm the verdict.

 Long-standing tensions between Xinjiang’s Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group, and China’s Han Chinese majority flared into open violence in Urumqi in July 2009. The government — which accused overseas Uighur groups of plotting the violence, something they deny — said 197 people were killed. Hundreds of people were arrested, about two dozen were sentenced to death and many Uighurs remain unaccounted for and are believed to be in custody.

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Taiwan is following the path of Xinjiang

Originally published by Taipei Times,23 July 2010

By Susan Wang

I ran into World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer by the elevator on my way to attend a hearing on July 19 of the US Congressional Executive Commission on China on conditions in Xinjiang a year after the riots in July last year. We exchanged a few words, and I could sense her warmth and kindness.

She was accompanied by the vice president of the World Uyghur Congress, Omer Kanat, a kind and friendly gentleman who has spent his life working for freedom and human rights for people in East Turkestan or the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

These two people live and work in Washington and are considered by the US government and Congress to be respected and reliable sources of information on what is happening in their homeland.

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Rights group accuses China of abuses in Tibet

Originally published by APF, 23 July 2010
by Marianne Barriaux

BEIJING (AFP) – Chinese security forces brutally beat and even shot dead some protesters during unrest in Tibet in 2008, and tortured many in the subsequent crackdown, Human Rights Watch said in a report Thursday.

The New York-based organisation said it had based its findings on interviews with more than 200 Tibetan refugees and other witnesses between March 2008 and April 2010, as well as official information.

“Dozens of eyewitness testimonies and the government?s own sources show clearly the official willingness to use lethal force against unarmed protesters,” said Sophie Richardson, the group’s Asia advocacy director.

“This report decisively refutes the Chinese government?s claim that it handled the protests in line with international standards and domestic laws,” she said.

China’s foreign ministry denied the accusations in a faxed response to an AFP request for comment, accusing HRW of constant “bias” towards China.

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As Separatists Welcome Int’l Court Kosovo Opinion, US Insists it’s Not Applicable Elsewhere

Originally published by, 23 July 2010
By Patrick Goodenough

ICJ President Judge Hisashi Owada, centre, flanked by Judge Peter Tomka, left, and Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh, right, at the court in The Hague on Thursday, July 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Evert-Jan Daniels)
( – The International Court of Justice’s long-awaited opinion on Kosovo Thursday may be non-binding and Kosovo-specific, but it resonated around the world, buoying secessionist movements and prompting anxiety in countries grappling with separatism.

Predicting a rush of additional recognitions by foreign governments, Kosovo’s leaders welcomed the advisory opinion by tribunal in The Hague, which in a 10-4 decision said the Serbian province’s unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) did not violate international law.

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Uighur journalist goes on trial in China a year after unrest

Originally published by CPJ Committee to Protect Journalists,23 July 2010

New York, July 22, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Chinese government to dismiss charges against Gheyret Niyaz, a Uighur journalist and website manager, and release him from prison. According to the Uyghur American Association (UAA), Niyazi will be tried in Urumqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region on July 28.

As CPJ reported October 2009, Niyaz faces charges of “endangering state security” stemming from ethnic unrest in Xinjiang in July 2009. Niyaz, who had worked for state newspapers Xinjiang Legal News and Xinjiang Economic Daily, also managed and edited the website Uighurbiz until June 2009. Authorities have blamed local and international Uighur sites for fueling the violence between Uighurs and Han Chinese in the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region.

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China renews ‘Go West’ effort

Originally Published by Asia Times, 23 july 2010

By Mitch Moxley

BEIJING – China is stepping up its 10-year-long effort to develop its vast western regions, home to energy and mineral resources crucial to its future growth. So far, the campaign’s results have been mixed.

Earlier in July, China’s Communist Party announced a plan to invest more than US$100 billion 23 infrastructure projects “to promote the fast and healthy development of the western areas,” according to China Daily, a state-owned newspaper.

The announcement is part of larger campaign to address inequalities between China’s western hinterlands and coastal east.

In 1978, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping opened China to the world and ushered in an era of prosperity in the heavily populated coast. But the country’s vast western regions, which make up 71% of 

China’s area but just 28% of its population, were largely left behind, even though diverted rivers and hydropower projects helped fuel the east’s boom.

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Uyghur Journalist To Face Trial

Originally published by RFA, 22 July 2010
By Mihray Abdilim

Sources say criminal proceedings are imminent. 

Gheyret Niyaz in a screen grab from on March 25, 2010
HONG KONG—An ethnic Uyghur journalist arrested for talking to foreign media about the deadly July 2009 ethnic riots in far-northwestern China faces an imminent criminal trial, according to supporters.

 The Washington-based Uyghur American Association (UAA) said it is “extremely concerned about the upcoming trial of Uyghur journalist and webmaster Gheyret Niyaz on

HONG KONG—An ethnic Uyghur journalist arrested for talking to foreign media about the deadly July 2009 ethnic riots in far-northwestern China faces an imminent criminal trial, according to supporters. The Washington-based Uyghur American Association (UAA) said it is “extremely concerned about the upcoming trial of Uyghur journalist and webmaster Gheyret Niyaz on charges of ‘endangering state security.’”
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China jails Uighur journalist for 15 years: employer

Originally published by Reuters,23 July 2010
By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese court in the restive western region of Xinjiang has given a Uighur journalist and website manager 15 years in jail for endangering state security by speaking to foreign journalists, his employer said on Friday., where Gheyret Niyaz worked as an administrator, posted a notice saying he had been sentenced at a hearing on Friday, quoting his wife who was in the court.

“Gheyret Niyaz admitted in court that he accepted interviews from foreign media, but insisted that he had no malicious intentions and was only doing what a citizen, or reporter, should do,” his wife Reshalaiti was quoted as saying.

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