Committee to Protect Journalists: Attacks on the Press in 2010

Committee to Protect Journalists, 15 February 2011

Committee to Protect Journalists — Chinese authorities severely restricted the Internet in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region until May, 10 months after authorities clamped down on information concerning the deadly 2009 riots between Han Chinese and ethnic Uighurs. A complete block on Internet access in the region was partially lifted in December 2009, but only to allow access to state-run news sites and sites with content specially adapted for the region.

Uighur journalists faced intense repression. At least seven Uighur journalists, all but one of whom worked online, were imprisoned on charges of endangering state security when CPJ conducted its 2010 census. In one case, an Urumqi court sentenced Gheyret Niyaz, a former state newspaper journalist who edited the Chinese-language Uighur affairs website Uighurbiz, to 15 years in prison in July. He had posted articles and given interviews to overseas media about the 2009 riots in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, according to international news reports. In August, website administrator Gulmire Imin was sentenced to life in prison after she was accused of fomenting violence through online posts. No other journalist in China is known to be serving a penalty so harsh.

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HRW Report on China “Promises Unfulfilled” — An Assessment of China’s National Human Rights Action Plan

Human Rights Watch, 11 January 2011

Human Rights Watch — This 67-page report details how despite the Chinese government’s progress in protection of some economic and social rights, it has undermined many of the key goals of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) by tightening restrictions on rights of expression, association, and assembly over the past two years. The report highlights how that rollback of key civil and political rights enabled rather than reduced a host of human rights abuses specifically addressed in the NHRAP.

The report can be downloaded here.

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Egregious Human Rights Violations Perpetrated by the Chinese Government Against the Uyghur People During and in the Aftermath of the July 2009 Protest and Unrest in Urumqi, the Regional Capital of East Turkestan

Press Release — For immediate release
1 December 2010
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or contact@uyghurcongress.org

The Uyghur people are indigenous to East Turkestan [also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China].   For many years, the Chinese government has waged an intense and often brutal campaign to repress all forms of Uyghur dissent, crack down on Uyghurs’ peaceful religious activities and independent expressions of ethnicity, dilute Uyghurs’ culture and identity as a distinct people, and threaten the survival of the Uyghur language.

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WUC – UNPO Conference Report: Uyghurs Call for Dialogue with China

World Uyghur Congress, 15 November 2010

WUC — The conference “Uyghurs Call for Dialogue with China – Implementation of the Chinese Constitution to Safeguard and Protect the Rights of the Uyghur people” was held on 29 and 30 April 2010 in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

The conference was sponsored by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group of the European Parliament and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and was organised in collaboration with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

The conference concluded with a concerted call from Uyghurs for a meaningful dialogue to begin with Beijing over resolving the situation in East Turkestan and ensuring that provisions for the protection of minority rights in the Chinese constitution are observed.

The conference report can be read here.

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Xinjiang Authorities Target Beards, Veils in Campaigns To Tighten Control Over Religion

Congressional Executive Commission on China, 18 October 2010

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CECC — Authorities in the far western region of Xinjiang have carried out campaigns in 2010 and previous years targeting Muslim men who wear large beards and women who wear veils (singling out face veiling in a number of cases), tying the practices in the Muslim-majority region to “religious extremism” and “backwardness.” The campaigns against beards and veils come as Xinjiang authorities continue to tighten controls over religion in the region.

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CECC: 2010 Annual Report on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China

Congressional Executive Commission on China, 10 October 2010

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CECC — The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has released its 2010 Annual Report on human rights and the rule of law in China, along with a list of over 1,450 political prisoners currently detained or imprisoned in China, compiled from the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database. The Annual Report provides a comprehensive, public examination of human rights and the rule of law in China that is intended to inform Members of the Congress, Administration officials and the general public.

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CAN ANYONE HEAR US? VOICES FROM THE 2009 UNREST IN URUMCHI

Press Release — For immediate release
1 July 2010
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or contact@uyghurcongress.org

A new report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) examines the unrest that took place in July and September 2009 in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or XUAR) through the accounts of Uyghur eyewitnesses. Can Anyone Hear Us? Voices From The 2009 Unrest In Urumchi also investigates the economic, social and political factors that set the context for the unrest, as well as the information lockdown that followed.

Residents of Urumchi who spoke to UHRP have described witnessing security forces’ use of deadly live fire against Uyghur demonstrators on July 5, extensive beatings of Uyghurs by civilians in July and September and arbitrary detentions that have exacerbated the growing divide between the Uyghur and Han communities. The accounts provided to UHRP cast sufficient doubt on the Chinese government version of events that should compel an independent and international investigation into the unrest.

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After the disturbances in Urumqi: Persecution of Uyghurs in China continues

Society for Threatened Peoples, 1 May 2010

Society for Threatened Peoples — Eight months after the disturbances in Urumqi of July 2009 the real extent of the sometimes violent conflicts between Uyghurs, Han Chinese and the government security forces is still not clear. China’s authorities refuse all independent investigations into what happened, the background and the consequences of the most serious conflict for decades in Xinjiang (East Turkestan). In this report the events will be reconstructed on the basis of eye-witness reports and the background to the conflicts.

It is clear that the protests of the Uyghurs were at the outset peaceful and that they were stirred up by the government censure and the arbitrary action of the security forces. It is still not clear how many people were the victims of the bloody conflicts. Crimes and offences committed in the disturbances must be prosecuted quite apart from the ethnic origin of the criminals. Up to now however the legal treatment of the events has been totally inadequate. The defendants have been refused a free choice of legal representation and the lawyers have been intimidated and threatened. In the court cases all principles of fair trials have been ignored.

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