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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Re-education camps make a comeback in China’s far-west

UCA News, 24 October 2017

UCA News — In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, so called political re-education camps have been proliferating in the lead up to the 19th Communist Party Congress.

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Launch of ‘Friends of Uyghur’ Friendship Group in the European Parliament Brings Together MEPs, NGOs and Public to Celebrate Uyghur Community Culture

UNPO, 20 October 2017

UNPO — On 19 October 2017, the newly formed Uyghur Friendship Group, in collaboration with MEPs Csaba Sógor and Ilhan Kyuchyuk, marked its inaugural event with a celebration of the Uyghur culture. The launch brought together a variety of people including representatives from NGOs, MEPs, members of the Uyghur diaspora and the wider public and drew attention to this people’s vibrant culture, while also calling for the need to protect their cultural rights.

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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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The Human Costs of Controlling Xinjiang

The Diplomat, 10 October 2017

By Zachary Torrey – The Uyghurs, one of the largest ethnic minority groups in China, have an unfortunate lot. As a group, they possess two key factors which encourage the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to repress them. First, they have a strong ethnic identity which is separate from the principal Han ethnic group which dominates the CCP.

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Re-Education Camps in Two Xinjiang Counties Hold Thousands of Uyghurs: Officials

Radio Free Asia, 29 September 2017

By Shohret Hoshur – Re-education camps in two counties in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, where mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs have protested Beijing’s rule, house thousands of “politically incorrect” inmates who are rarely freed despite undergoing months of “training,” according to sources.

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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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Weekly Brief September 22

World Uyghur Congress, 22 September 2017

Situation of Detained Uyghur Students Raised in UN Human Rights Council

During the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council an Item 4 Oral Statement was made on behalf of the The Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty regarding the Uyghur students who are currently imprisoned in Egypt on baseless charges.

At least 22 have already been forcibly returned to China where they have disappeared. We fear that they may be at risk of arbitrary detention, forced re-education or torture. Approximately 200 more Uyghur, many of them students remain in detention in Egypt uncertain of their fate.

There have been reports that 12 Uyghurs were released by Egyptian authorities 2 weeks ago. We hope that the rest of the innocent Uyghur students will also be immediately released and that no more Uyghurs will be deported to China where they are at risk of torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance.

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