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.

Continue Reading →

Kazakhstan/ Kyrgyzstan: Exploitation of migrant workers, protection denied to asylum seekers and refugees

International Federation for Human Rights, 30 October 2009

International Federation for Human Rights — The report sets out the findings of an investigative mission conducted by FIDH in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in June 2009, which documented the situation of migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees in both countries. The mission took place within the framework of FIDH’s actions aimed at the promotion and protection of migrants’ rights in the region.

As Kazakhstan prepares to take the Chair of the OSCE in January 2010, FIDH highlights the reforms urgently required to ensure that migrant workers and refugees receive the protection to which they are entitled under international law.

Continue Reading →

“We Are Afraid to Even Look for Them”: Enforced Disappearances in the Wake of Xinjiang’s Protests

Human Rights Watch, 20 October 2016

Human Rights Watch — This 44-page report documents the enforced disappearances of 43 Uighur men and teenage boys who were detained by Chinese security forces in the wake of the protests.

You can read the report here.

Continue Reading →

Save Kashgar‘s Old Town!

Society for Threatened Peoples, 1 May 2010

Society for Threatened Peoples — The Old Town of the city of Kashgar, which is over 2000 years old, in the north-west of China is threatened with destruction. In the coming five years about 200,000 people are to be re-housed in so-called  earthquake-proof apartment buildings. The project, which began on 27th February 2009, involves the destruction of 85 percent of the basic fabric, which is centuries old. Kashgar has the reputation of being the most important Islamic town in central Asia in terms of cultural history. Only 15 percent of the old houses are to be retained in the framework of an open-air museum to present to the 1.5 million tourists from home and abroad the old Islamic culture.

Continue Reading →

Xinjiang Authorities Block, Punish Free Expression

Congressional Executive Commission on China, 02 July 2009

us-congress-china-tibet-2016

CECC — Authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) continued in 2009 to engage in censorship campaigns and punish people for peaceful expression and assembly. Authorities outside the XUAR also participated in the censorship of a Web site devoted to Uyghur issues. The measures continue a longstanding trend in blocking and punishing free expression in the XUAR, especially among the Uyghur ethnic group. The continued controls also come amid a year of heightened government repression in the region.

Continue Reading →

Ethno-Diplomacy: The Uyghur Hitch in Sino-Turkish Relations

The East-West Center, 1 January 2009

2009 The Uyghur Hitch in Sino-Turkish Relations

By Yitzhak Shichor — Beginning in 1949, China responded to so-called Uyghur separatism and the quest for Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang) independence as a domestic problem. Since the mid-1990s, however, when it became aware of the international aspects of this problem, Beijing has begun to pressure Turkey to limit its support for Uyghur activism. Aimed not only at cultural preservation but also at Eastern Turkestan independence, Uyghur activism remained unnoticed until the 1990s, despite the establishment in 1971 of Sino-Turkish diplomatic relations. It has gathered momentum as a result of China’s post-Mao opening, the Soviet disintegration, increased Uyghur migration, the growing Western concern for human rights, and the widespread use of the Internet. Until the mid-1990s Turkey’s leaders managed to defy Chinese pressure because they sympathized with the Uyghurs, were personally committed to their leader Isa Yusuf Alptekin, and hoped to restore Turkish influence in Central Asia.

Continue Reading →

China: Minority Exclusion, Marginalization and Rising Tensions

Minority Rights Group, 1 January 2007 

Minority Rights Group — China’s increasing engagement with the international community in recent years has been accompanied by rapid domestic social and economic changes. Although the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is now an active participant in multilateral forums and processes of international human rights law, its policies continue to undermine human rights, especially that of vulnerable populations.

Continue Reading →

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Concludes Two-Week Visit to China

Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 22 May 2006

us-congress-china-tibet-2016

CECC — Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, concluded his two-week visit to China and confirmed allegations that “the practice of torture, though on the decline – particularly in urban areas – remains widespread in China,” according to a December 2 press release available through the Web site of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Continue Reading →