Weekly Brief December 15th

World Uyghur Congress, 15 December 2017

Chinese Authorities Collect DNA from Millions of Uyghurs

It was widely reported this week that Chinese authorities have escalated their efforts to collect DNA samples and establish biometric profiles of the Uyghur people by making all Uyghurs between the ages of 12-65 give their finger prints, iris scans and blood types under the guise of a ‘Physicals for All’ public health program. The WUC congress has expressed its concern in the past over the practice of forcing Uyghurs to give their biological data in order to receive a passport, but this newest initiative represents a significant escalation.

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Uyghur Activist, Ilham Tohti, honoured with 2017 Weimar Human Rights Award

UNPO, 11 December 2017

On 10 December 2017, the German city of Weimar awarded the 2017 Weimar Human Rights award to Uyghur rights activist Ilham Tohti, in a public ceremony coinciding with International Human Rights Day. Currently serving a life sentence for his criticism of the Chinese government, under the false charge of ‘separatism’, Ilham Tohti is one of China’s most prominent political prisoners. Tohti was honoured with the award in recognition of his work upholding the rights of the Uyghur people and promoting an understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese.
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Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Awarded ‘Prize For Freedom’ in The Hague

Radio Free Asia, 1 December 2017

By Kurban Niyaz – Jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was honored on Thursday at a ceremony in The Hague, where he was awarded Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom, given in absentia and accepted on his behalf by a rights group advocating for his release.

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Uyghur activist Ilham Tohti to be awarded LI’s Prize for Freedom in The Hague

Liberal International, 30 November 2017

Liberal International – Directors of the Ilham Tohti Initiative will receive Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom in recognition of the imprisoned Uyghur’s campaign of conciliation between Han Chinese and Muslim Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang province, at a special ceremony to take place in The Hague, The Netherlands on 30th November.

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Uyghur ‘Political Criminals’ Jailed Without Trial in Xinjiang’s Kashgar Prefecture

Radio Free Asia, 31 October 2017

By Shohret Hoshur — Authorities in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture, in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, are convicting ethnic Uyghur “political criminals” without trial and only notifying their families after sentencing them to prison, according to sources.

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‘More Than 30’ Relatives of Uyghur Exile Leader Rebiya Kadeer Detained in Xinjiang

Radio Free Asia, 27 October 2017

By Jilil Kashgary – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have detained more than 30 relatives of exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer in recent months, including two sons who were previously jailed on charges related to “secessionist activities” and “tax evasion,” she said Friday.

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China’s Abuse of Uighurs

New York Times, 28 September 2017

To the Editor:

Re “The China Puzzle” (editorial, Sept. 17):

By Omer Kanat – You suggest that the United States cooperate with China on terrorism. China has an expansive and unclear definition of terrorist actions — for example, sentencing Prof. Ilham Tohti to life imprisonment for discussing Uighur issues online, accusing him of encouraging students to join terrorist groups.

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Rights Groups Demand Uyghur Scholar’s Freedom on Anniversary of Life Sentence

Radio Free Asia, 25 September 2017

By Joshua Lipes – Rights groups have called for international pressure on China’s government to unconditionally release Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti on the third anniversary of his sentencing to life in prison for “separatism” after he spoke out in support of equal rights and greater autonomy for members of his ethnic group.

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