Weekly Brief October 27th

World Uyghur Congress, 27 October 2017

Party Secretary Known For Repression in East Turkestan and Tibet Appointed to Politburo

China’s 19th Party Congress continued in a very concerning direction this week, as the former Party Secretary for Tibet and current Party Secretary for East Turkestan, Chen Quanguo, was appointed to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Chen Quanguo made his name in the Chinese government by implementing a series of repressive policies to stifle any expressions of dissent, first in Tibet and now in East Turkestan.

Since his appointment as Party Secretary in East Turkestan, Chinese authorities have sent tens of thousands of police and military personnel to East Turkestan and have heavily securities the area. Countless roadblocks across the region, the extensive use of invasive forms of surveillance and the mass arrest and detention of Uyghurs merely seeking to peacefully practice their religion or express themselves, has led to an oppressive and suffocating environment. These policies have been enacted with little to no regard to the lives, well-being and basic rights of the Uyghur people that they affect.

His appointment is seen as a reward by Xi Jinping for his role is suppressing and controlling the Uyghur and Tibetan authorities. It is then a very worrying indication of the intention and direction of the Chinese government over the next five years and will likely mean further oppression and violence towards the Uyghurs, Tibetans and all Chinese individuals who speak up for human rights and democracy.

Elderly Uyghurs Among the Thousands Held in Re-Education Camps

It has been reported this week that a number of elderly Uyghurs were detained and sent to re-education camps by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan. According to Radio Free Asia, they were investigated and targeted for peacefully practicing their religion and were sent to the camps after undertaking the Hajj and for praying five times a day at a local mosque. Thousands of Uyghurs have been detained and sent to re-education camps to be indoctrinated in recent years, but subjecting the elderly to this sort of punishment is particularly egregious.

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This Is What A 21st-Century Police State Really Looks Like

Buzzed News, 18 October 2017

By Megha Rajagopalan — This is a city where growing a beard can get you reported to the police. So can inviting too many people to your wedding, or naming your child Muhammad or Medina.

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Uyghurs Left Waiting While Han Chinese Bypass Checkpoints in Xinjiang’s Hotan City

Radio Free Asia, 4 October 2017

By Jill Kashgary – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have set up special “green lanes” for ethnic Han Chinese drivers to bypass security on roads leading into Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) city, sources said, while Muslim Uyghurs submit to inspections that include ID checks and body searches.

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URGENT ACTION: Uighur Woman Incommunicado After Secret Trial

Amnesty International, 29 September 2017

Buzainafu Abudourexiti, who returned to China in 2015 after studying for two years in Egypt, was suddenly detained in March 2017 and sentenced in a secret trial to seven years in prison. No information has been provided about the charges against her, but it is believed that it may be part of a wider crackdown on Uighur students who studied abroad. Held incommunicado, she is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

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Chen Quanguo: The Strongman Behind Beijing’s Securitization Strategy in Tibet and Xinjiang

China Brief, 21 September 2017

By Adrian Zenz & James Leibold – Over the last year, Chen Quanguo (陈全国) has dramatically increased the police presence in Xinjiang by advertising over 90,000 new police and security-related positions. [1] This soldier-turned-politician is little known outside of China, but within China he has gained a reputation as an ethnic policy innovator, pioneering a range of new methods for securing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule over Uyghurs, Tibetans and other ethnic minorities in western China.

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China Jails Muslim Man, Sets Limits on Overseas Stays by Its Kazakh Nationals

Radio Free Asia, 11 September 2017

By Qiao Long – Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have jailed an ethnic Kazakh Muslim for “engaging in illegal religious activities,”sources in the region told RFA.

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Why China must scrap new laws that tighten the authorities’ grip on religious practice

Amnesty International, 31 August 2017

By Roseann Rife – As millions of Muslims worldwide prepare for the Hajj, those hoping to independently undertake the journey from China are more likely to end up in jail than in Saudi Arabia.

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Urumqi Officials Confirm Security Checks For Uyghur, Kazakh Vehicle Registrants

Radio Free Asia, 29 August 2017

By Kurban Niyaz – Authorities in the capital of northwestern China’s Xinjiang region are requiring all ethnic Uyghur and Kazakh individuals to undergo a stringent background check before registering a vehicle in the city, official sources have confirmed.

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