Local MP Paul Goggins joins fight to free Sale man’s brother from detention in China

Originally published by Messenger, 19 March 2010

A Sale resident has enlisted the help of local MP Paul Goggins and the foreign office minister Ivan Lewis in the fight to have his brother freed.

Dilimulati Paerhati, 31, of School Road Sale, has not spoken to his brother Dilixaiti Paerhati, 28, since he was taken from his home in north-west China in August last year.

The pair are Uighur Muslims, an ethnic minority community from the troubled region of Xinjiang which experienced widespread unrest and rioting in July last year.

Dilixaiti, editor of a popular website that was shut-down by authorities in July, disappeared on August 7.

He had already been held in custody for eight days.

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Intervention on Cambodia’s UPR Report

Originally published by UNPO, 18 March 2010

UNPO’s Maggie Murphy will make an intervention on behalf of Interfaith International at the occasion of the consideration of Cambodia’s Universal Periodic Review report at the 13th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The intervention concerns violations against the Khmer Krom population including asylum seekers, and expresses grave concern at the refoulement of 20 Uyghur asylum seekers in December 2009 despite Cambodia’s signature to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The intervention can be viewed here .

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The Exodus – Part II?

Originally published by Hürriyet, 18 March 2010

“The killings of Uighur Turks by the Chinese police during demonstrations constitute genocide. I use this term intentionally.” (Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, July 2009)

 “I went to Darfur myself and saw no genocide there. Muslims don’t commit genocide.” (Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, November 2009)

 “Politicians cannot decide on genocides. This is the duty of historians.” (Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, March 2010)

This concise compilation of three statements on three different dates within a span of eight months has been brought to the public’s attention by Cem Toker, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP. Put in chronological sequence, the three remarks unmistakably summarize Mr. Erdoğan’s mindset on genocide.

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Google China uncensors verboten tank man: Search engine breaks law against Google will

Originally published by  The Register, 17 March 2010

By Cade Metz

Google’s Chinese search engine was defying local law on Tuesday by returning links involving the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the Xinjiang independence movement, according to a report from NBC News.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company tells NBC that despite its January 12 announcement that it has decided to “no longer” censor search results in China, it is continuing to do so. “”We have not changed our operations,” the web giant said.

Nonetheless, NBC was able to access previously-censored links from Google.cn, including the famous 1989 image of a lone man blocking a line of Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square. A search for “tank man” in Chinese characters on the search engine returned just one link to the photo – though several are available from the company’s engine overseas.

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China Fails to Dispel Mystery About Missing Dissident

Originally published by New York Times, 16 March 2010

HONG KONG — China’s foreign minister waded into the mystery over the disappearance more than a year ago of one of the country’s most prominent human rights lawyers, but his remarks on Tuesday shed little light on the lawyer’s fate.

At a Beijing news conference, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, had been sentenced to prison for subversion. But Mr. Yang did not say whether he was referring to a new sentence or whether he was citing a suspended sentence that Mr. Gao had received in late 2006 after writing an open letter to President Hu Jintao alleging mistreatment of adherents of the banned Falun Gong movement.

In the 2006 case, Mr. Gao was quickly released after he made a confession. He later said he had been coerced into confessing by state security officials.

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Carrot and Stick – China’s Formula In Tibet And Xinjiang

Originally published by Phayul, 15 March 2010

Soon after the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), President Hu Jintao met some deputies from Tibet. He told them: “Development and stability in Tibet are two top tasks that demand unremitting efforts.”

A few days earlier, an article entitled “China Insider Sees Revolution Brewing” written by John Garnaut, had appeared in The Guardian. “China’s top expert on social unrest has warned that hardline security policies are taking the country to the brink of revolutionary turmoil”, it said.

The fact is that several voices from inside the party have started to raise the issue of ‘stability’ (whether in Tibet or China); and these are not voices of dissidents or human rights activists, but of people like Professor Yu Jianrong, the Director of Social Issues Research at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Rural Affairs in Beijing; Prof. Yu is a top advisor of the Chinese government. Conducting surveys and interviewing hundreds of stakeholders, he has gone into the alarming situation in great depth.

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China to ramp up investment in restive Xinjiang

Originally published by AFP, 15 March 2010

BEIJING — China will sharply increase investment in Xinjiang in hopes that higher living standards for ethnic Uighurs in the restive region can quell long-standing unrest, state press said Monday.

“The social situation can only become stable when the problem of people’s livelihood is solved,” China Daily quoted Xinjiang’s Communist Party secretary Wang Lequan as saying.

“Economic development is the solution… (we expect) investment in fixed assets will jump sharply.”

Violence between Muslim Uighurs and China’s ethnic Han majority exploded in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi last July, leaving nearly 200 dead and 1,700 injured, according to the government.

It was the biggest racial strife in China in decades.

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A Host of Mummies, a Forest of Secrets

Originally published by New York Times, 15 March 2010

In the middle of a terrifying desert north of Tibet, Chinese archaeologists have excavated an extraordinary cemetery. Its inhabitants died almost 4,000 years ago, yet their bodies have been well preserved by the dry air.

The cemetery lies in what is now China’s northwest autonomous region of Xinjiang, yet the people have European features, with brown hair and long noses. Their remains, though lying in one of the world’s largest deserts, are buried in upside-down boats. And where tombstones might stand, declaring pious hope for some god’s mercy in the afterlife, their cemetery sports instead a vigorous forest of phallic symbols, signaling an intense interest in the pleasures or utility of procreation.

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