Uyghur Teenager Gets Life

Original published by RFA, 23 Apr 2010

By Medine

  HONG KONG—A court in China’s troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang has handed a life sentence to a Uyghur youth for alleged murder during July 2009 unrest, but rights groups and relatives say his trial was unfair and he may have been tortured.

Chinese authorities in the Silk Road town of Aksu [in Chinese, Akesu] detained Noor-Ul-Islam Sherbaz on July 27 in the wake of rioting in Urumqi, when he was just 17.

“I think under severe torture my son was forced to sign the confession,” Noor-Ul-Islam’s father Sherbaz Khan, who is a Pakistani national, said.

He said his son was convicted after his image appeared on security cameras in downtown Urumqi, the regional capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), on the night that Uyghurs demonstrated for an investigation into the deaths of two Uyghur migrants in southern China.

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China vows economic growth in restive Xinjiang

Originally published by AFP, 23 Apr 2010

 BEIJING (AFP) – China’s top leadership has decided to ramp up development in its restive Xinjiang region, state media said Friday, where ethnic Uighurs have long complained of missing out on economic growth.

 The decision was taken in a meeting of the ruling Communist Party’s powerful nine-member inner circle presided over by President Hu Jintao, the official Xinhua news agency said.

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Chinese Uighur Muslims plead in court for US release

Originally  published by AFP, April 22, 2010

 A Uighur captive from China, ordered released last year by a federal judge, walks away from the entrance to Camp Iguana in this Oct. 14, 2009 photo cleared for release by a Pentagon contractor at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. CAROL ROSENBERG / MIAMI HERALD 

Lawyers for the five remaining Uighur Chinese Muslims at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp argued in court Thursday that the men should be set free on US soil after more than eight years in detention.

A three-member panel of judges at the US Court of Appeals in Washington heard attorneys petition for release of the men, who were swept up by US troops in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States.

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Call To Open Up Online

Originally published by RFA, 22 Apr 2010

By Shohret Hoshur

 HONG KONG—A retired physics professor and prominent rights activist from the eastern province of Shandong has called on the Chinese government to stop limiting the Internet access of people in the troubled region of Xinjiang.

Former Shandong university professor Sun Wenguang, 75, said the restrictions are equivalent to burning books and smashing historical relics, and make him ashamed on behalf of majority Han Chinese.

“The Internet was not blocked during the Lhasa protest in March 2008,” Sun said, referring to weeks of unrest among Tibetans in China ahead of the Olympic Games.

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Uyghur Barred from Travel

Originally published by RFA, 19 Apr 2010

By Erkin Tarim

 ANKARA—Chinese authorities have barred a leading ethnic Uyghur economist based, in Beijing, from attending an academic conference in Turkey, along with four other Uyghur academics from the Xinjiang regional capital, Urumqi, organizers say.

“We invited four scholars from Urumqi, six from Beijing—and now only four scholars from Beijing’s Central University for Nationalities are joining the conference now,” Alimjan Inayet, the organizer of an international panel on Turkic culture at Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, said.

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The Geography of Chinese Power

Originally published by The New York Times, 19 Apr 2010

By ROBERT D. KAPLAN

China’s blessed geography is so obvious a point that it tends to get overlooked in discussions of the country’s economic dynamism and national assertiveness.

Yet it is essential: It means that China will stand at the hub of geopolitics even if the country’s path toward global power is not necessarily linear.

Today China’s ambitions are as aggressive as those of the United States a century ago, but for completely different reasons. China does not take a missionary approach to world affairs, seeking to spread an ideology or a system of government. Instead, its actions are propelled by its need to secure energy, metals and strategic minerals in order to support the rising living standards of its immense population.

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Is the unrest over in Kyrgyzstan?

Originally published by BBC News,16 Apr 2010

By Rayhan Demytrie

On a rainy evening in Kyrgyzstan’s southern city of Jalalabad, the roaring sound of plane engines filled the air.

Many looked up at the sky with curiosity – in this small town of 150,000 there are not that many flights. Few realised the plane was carrying ousted leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev out of the country.

In his home village of Teyit, he was leaving behind those who in the previous seven days had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their president.

They were the women who stood in Jalalabad’s main square only a day before chanting “Bakiyev! Bakiyev!”, and the young police scouts suddenly given the important task of controlling road blocks to Mr Bakiyev’s home.

And they were the president’s large family and some of the officials from his administration, who stood by him until the very last moment.

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April 22 US appeals court hearing for Chinese Muslim Uighurs

Originally by AFP, published by google/hostednews, 15 Apr 2010

WASHINGTON — The last five Uighur Chinese Muslims held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp are to have a court hearing next week to ask for their release on US soil after nearly a decade of detention, judicial sources said Thursday.

After a two-year legal battle, a three-member panel of the US Court of Appeals in Washington ordered an April 22 hearing at which lawyers for each of the men will be allowed to speak for up to 15 minutes, court sources said.

The five men are part of an original group of 22 Uighurs arrested at the end of 2001 in the mountains of Afghanistan, and accused at the time of having Al-Qaeda ties following the September 11 attacks on the United States.

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