Freedom in the World 2010 Survey Release

Ogiginally Published by The Freedom House, 12 January 2010

On January 12, Freedom House released its findings from the latest edition of Freedom in the World, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties. According to the survey’s findings, 2009 marked the fourth consecutive year in which global freedom suffered a decline—the longest consecutive period of setbacks for freedom in the nearly 40-year history of the report. These declines were most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa, although they also occurred in most other regions of the world. Furthermore, the erosion in freedom took place during a year marked by intensified repression against human rights defenders and democracy activists by many of the world’s most powerful authoritarian regimes, including Russia and China.

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China’s soft power hardens in Cambodia

Originally Published by Asia Times, January 11, 2010

PHNOM PENH – A day after Cambodian authorities spirited 20 ethnic Uighur asylum seekers out of the country on an unmarked charter flight, China’s Vice President Xi Jinping touched down at Siem Reap International Airport. During his three-day visit in late December, the Chinese leader signed an unprecedented US$1.2 billion in economic aid agreements with the Phnom Penh government, while rights groups and Western governments howled condemnation over the sudden deportations.

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Uighur man stabbed to death in south China: report

Originally Published by Washington Post, January 8, 2010

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Uighur man was stabbed to death in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, a sign of lingering tensions after a factory brawl last summer sparked bloody ethnic riots in Xinjiang, a newspaper said on Saturday.

Energy-rich Xinjiang, homeland to the Muslim Uighur people and strategically located in central Asia, has been struck in recent years by bombings, attacks and riots blamed by Beijing on Uighur separatists demanding an independent “East Turkistan”.

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China to Swiss: Don’t Take Uighurs From Guantanamo

Originally Published by New York Times, 8 January 2010

GENEVA (AP) — China warned the Swiss government Friday against accepting two Guantanamo inmates as part of President Barack Obama’s effort to close the detention center, calling them terrorist suspects who should face Chinese justice.

In a sharply worded statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the pair of ethnic minority Uighurs posed a serious security threat to China, and to Switzerland if it were to offer them a new home.

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Chinese minister said they “respected Turkey’s ties with Uighurs”

Originally Published by World Bulletin, 8 January 2010

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey and China may carry out joint investments in third countries.

Erdogan, who received Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, said around 100 Chinese businessmen would attend a meeting to be held in Istanbul on Friday.

Erdogan said Turkey and China were the inheritors of two civilizations rooted in history.

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US caucus meets with PM

Originally Published by Phnom Penh Post, 8 January 2010

A VISITING delegation of three American congressmen met Thursday with Prime Minister Hun Sen, during which they offered encouragement for the Kingdom’s business community while also raising concerns over the government’s controversial deportation of a group of Chinese Uighur asylum-seekers last month.

Joseph Cao of Louisiana, Mike Honda of California and Eni Faleomavaega, a non-voting Congressional delegate from American Samoa, arrived in Cambodia on Tuesday after visiting Vietnam.

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China has warned Switzerland that accepting two Uighurs held at Guantanamo Bay prison could affect relations, the Chinese embassy and Swiss authorities said on Thursday

Originally Published by Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 7 January 2010

“We are obliged to reiterate the Chinese position that the terrorists assumed to have Chinese nationality should be repatriated to China regardless of their ethnicity,” said the embassy in a letter to Swiss authorities.

“We absolutely do not want this affair to affect China-Swiss relations,” added the embassy in extracts of the letter seen by AFP.

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China’s Xinjiang issues new anti-terror rules: state media

Published by AFP, 6 January 2010

BEIJING — Authorities in China’s troubled Xinjiang region will step up identity checks and monitor religious activities in a renewed bid to quash terrorism, separatism and extremism, state media said Wednesday.

The announcement of new government regulations aimed at helping the police and judiciary stamp out the so-called “three forces” in the region comes six months after ethnic violence left nearly 200 people dead.

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