New government demonstrates disregard for human rights

The Nation, 19 August 2011

By Sophie Richardson,
Bill Frelick,
Nicholas Bequelin Bequeln
Human Rights Watch

The Chinese government should immediately allow access to Nur Muhammed, an ethnic Uighur who was handed over to Chinese officials in Bangkok on August 6.

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China puts pressure on Pakistan: Deportation of five Uyghurs to China is a violation of human rights!

Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, 10 August 2011


The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) raised serious allegations against Pakistan on Wednesday. “The Pakistani authorities deported five Uyghurs to China – accepting the fact, that the refugees might be imprisoned for years or even sentenced to death in the People’s Republic,” said the STP’s expert on questions regarding Asia, Ulrich Delius.

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China: End Violence and Restrictions In Uighur Muslim Areas

August 5, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urges an end to all violence and restrictions on peaceful religious activity in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China.

Recent violence in the cities of Hotan and Kashgar has led reportedly to the death of dozens of Uighur Muslim and Han Chinese, the most since June 2009 ethnic clashes in the XUAR. Beijing’s official media described the violence as acts of terrorists fueled by “religious extremism,” points disputed by Uighur groups outside of China. Chinese officials in the XUAR announced yesterday new “high pressure” security measures and stated their intent to show “no mercy” toward anyone pursuing separatism or violence.

“Beijing’s policy toward the Uighur Muslims is trapped in a cycle of repression and discontent, viewing even peaceful expressions of protest or public piety as evidence of religious extremism and separatism,” said Leonard Leo, USCIRF Chair.  “There is no excuse for violence targeting innocent civilians. Yet, Beijing needs to recognize that indiscriminate repression of Uighur religious, cultural, and political life will not bring stability, only fuel further frustration. The first step in building trust and addressing instability has to come from Beijing. They should end all restrictions on peaceful religious activities and allow for independent and transparent investigations of the violence.”

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China blames deadly Xinjiang attack on separatists

BBC, 1 August 2011

China says Muslim separatists trained in Pakistan were behind an attack which killed six civilians in the western region of Xinjiang on Sunday.

In an online statement, the local government said “armed terrorists” stormed a restaurant, killing two, then fatally stabbed four people outside.

Police responding to the attack shot dead five suspects.

The attack was part of a weekend of violence which left up to 18 people dead.

Kashgar is in west of Xinjiang region, which has a Muslim Uighur population and has seen regular outbreaks of ethnic tension, mainly triggered by the influx of Han Chinese.

In a statement the Pakistani foreign office has said that all “incidents of terrorism are deplorable” and that it is fully confident that the Chinese government will succeed in frustrating the “evil designs of… extremists and separatists, who constitute an evil force”.

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UN Human Rights Committee Raises Concern over the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Its Review of Kazakhstan

Human Rights in China (HRIC), 29 July 2011

In concluding observations and recommendations released today, a United Nations expert body noted with concern that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member state Kazakhstan “may be willing to rely” on diplomatic assurances provided within the SCO framework “to return foreign nationals to countries where torture and serious human rights violations might occur.” Human Rights in China (HRIC) welcomes these expert conclusions in light of Kazakhstan’s practice of returning Uyghur asylum seekers to fellow SCO member state China – most recently Ershidin Israil – and of returning asylum seekers and refugees to other SCO member states as well, including the return in June of 28 Uzbek refugees to Uzbekistan.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee included this concern in its Concluding Observations on the Initial report of Kazakhstan, regarding the government’s implementation of the human rights obligations enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR or “Covenant”), which Kazakhstan ratified in 2006. The Committee further expressed its concern that “individuals, particularly Uzbek and Chinese nationals, who might have valid claims for asylum or refugee status have no protection under the principle of non-refoulement . . . .” It recommended that Kazakhstan “monitor the treatment of such persons after their return and take appropriate action when [diplomatic] assurances are not fulfilled. Furthermore, [Kazakhstan] should fully comply with the principle of non-refoulement and ensure that all persons in need of international protection receive appropriate and fair treatment at all stages in compliance with the Covenant.”

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HRIC Calls for Full and Transparent Investigation of July 18 Incident in Hotan

Human Rights in China (HRIC), 28 July 2011

HRIC is deeply concerned over the July 18 violence reported in Hotan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which resulted in at least 18 reported deaths, and official depictions of events that contradict eyewitness accounts.

Human Rights in China (HRIC) is deeply concerned over the July 18 violence reported in Hotan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which resulted in at least 18 reported deaths, and official depictions of events that contradict eyewitness accounts.

Official Chinese media reports have referred to the incident variously as a premeditated act of terrorism, religious extremism, or rioting. Government officials assert that Uyghur men attacked a police station, took hostages, killed four people, and injured four others. Official reports also indicate that police shot 14 “rioters” and rescued six civilian hostages.

An independent and full investigation is essential, however, in light of witness accounts reported by the World Uyghur Congress that contain facts contrary to those asserted by the authorities. These reports suggest that the violence was initiated by police against Uyghurs who had peacefully gathered to protest the disappearance of relatives while in police custody. The World Uyghur Congress also reports that over 70 people were arrested in the wake of the violence, while at least 20 Uyghurs were killed and 12 injured.

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The “Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Society Europe” celebrates His Holiness’ birthday in Brussels.

By Dennis Barbion, Belgium, 9th July 2011

Wednesday 6th July 2011 was the 76th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. The Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Society Europe (CTFSE), an international association that was founded in June last year, has organised a celebration in Brussels. About 175 people in total participated in the celebration: Tibetans, Chinese dissidents, a Mongolian representative and Belgian Tibet supporters.

Mrs. Mona Zhimin Tang, a Chinese political artist, a former Tian An Men student and human rights activist now living in the West, welcomed everyone and did the presentation that evening. She expressed her appreciation for everyone who participated in the celebration. She told it was an important day and asked the audience to offer a khata to the throne with a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to express respect for the former Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

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Repression and Surveillance of Uighurs Still a Concern on Second Anniversary of Urumqi Crackdown

Freedom Hause, 5 July 2011
Press Release
Contact: Mary McGuire  202-747-7035

On the second anniversary of the brutal crackdown on peaceful Uighur demonstrators  by Chinese security forces, Freedom House remains deeply concerned about the ongoing repression and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China.

On July 5, 2009, Chinese security forces violently suppressed peaceful demonstrators in Urumqi seeking justice for Uighur factory workers who were killed during a brawl with ethnic Han in June of that year.  The police action sparked clashes between Uighurs and Han residents and state-run media reported that 197 people were killed, though state censorship and intimidation of witnesses have made it difficult to verify the number dead. The crackdown that followed the clashes included sweeping “disappearances,” imprisonment, and executions of Uighurs.

“Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities have suffered greatly at the hands of the Chinese government for years,” said Sue Gunawardena Vaughn, Freedom House’s senior program manager for international religious freedom. “Freedom House calls on Chinese authorities to take concrete measures to address the root causes of the July 5th protest and ethnic unrest in Xinjiang, starting with the immediate release of those who remain in custody without charge. At a minimum, those who have been charged should be afforded due process, tried in an open and fair court, given access to legal representation of their choice and not subjected to torture and ill treatment.”

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