Bern to consult Jura before Uighur decision

Originally Published by World Radio Switzerland, 14 January 2010

The Swiss government says it won’t make a final decision on whether to take in two Uighur brothers who’ve been held at Guantanamo Bay until it’s heard from the canton of Jura, where the two men would ultimately be heading.

The Cabinet’s comments come amid deep divisions in parliament over the issue.

Some MPs have warned that accepting the two men would threaten national security and relations with China.

Continue Reading →

China Nearly Doubles Security Budget for Xinjiang

Originally Published by New York Times, 13 January 2010

BEIJING — The government of the vast western region of Xinjiang, which last July was rocked by China’s deadliest ethnic violence in decades, is almost doubling its security budget this year compared with 2009, according to a report on Wednesday in China Daily, an official English-language newspaper.

The move is an indication of how deeply worried Chinese officials are that members of the Uighur and Han ethnic groups could clash again in the cities and desert oasis towns of the oil-rich region, and of the extraordinary measures the officials are taking to clamp down on the area.

Continue Reading →

Parliament divided over Uighur situation

Originally Published by World Radio Switzerland, 13 January 2010

There are continuing divisions this morning in parliament over whether Switzerland should take in two Guantanamo detainees, minority Uighurs from China.

Two parliamentary committees have issued opposing appeals to influence the cabinet on the matter.

Members of parliament’s committee on human rights published a letter earlier this week, urging the federal cabinet to stick to their decision to house the two men. They also criticize China for what they describe as a ‘campaign to denigrate’ the Guantanamo detainees.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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”.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →