China collecting DNA, biometrics from millions in Xinjiang: report

CNN,  13 December 2017

By James Griffiths – Authorities in China’s far-west are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, eye scans and blood types of millions of people aged 12 to 65, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.

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Weekly Brief December 8th

World Uyghur Congress, 8 December 2017

Concerning New Counter-Espionage Rules Further Increase Powers of Chinese State Security Agents

New rules to China’s Counter-Espionage laws were adopted by the Chinese government on Wednesday, 6 December 2017. The new roles specify how China’s counter-espionage laws, which first were adopted in November 2014, should be implemented, as part of a series of new legal reforms pushed by Xi Jinping to counter perceived threats to national security.

The new rules give the Chinese state security agents sweeping new powers to arrest and investigate individuals they suspect of espionage. They give the security agents the authority to bar foreigners from entering the country if they have made negative comments about the Chinese government and to arrest and deport them if they are already in China. The new rules also widen the definition of espionage to include punishments for acts such as ‘using religion or cults to harm national security’. These WUC is very concerned with these measures. They will certainly be used to silence critics of the Chinese government domestically and abroad, as well as leading for further repression of the Uyghur people and further restrictions on religious freedom.

World Uyghur Congress Sends Letter To Canadian PM Ahead of Visit

The World Uyghur Congress sent a letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, last week ahead of his anticipated visit to China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Trudeau government has been relatively silent on human rights issues in the past, but has emphasised that its “quiet diplomacy” has been effective in terms of moving forward on these issues.

With ever increasing repression in China and any dissent being met with force and violence, we rely on states who to speak up about human rights. It is the duty of the international community to respectfully call out those states that fail to live up to international human rights norms.

 

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Uyghur Grape Merchants Suffer Losses Amid Party Congress Clampdown

Radio Free Asia, 7 December 2017

By Shohret Hoshur – Grape and raisin production in Xinjiang’s Turfan (in Chinese, Tulufan) prefecture accounts for over 80 percent of China’s total, and has helped China become the world’s third-largest producer of raisins and the world’s largest producer of green raisins, according to a 2015 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Weekly Brief December 1st

World Uyghur Congress, 1 December 2017

WUC Participates in 10th UN Forum on Minority Issues

Representatives from the World Uyghur Congress travelled to Geneva last week to participate in the 10th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. The central topic of this year’s Forum was ‘Minority Youth: towards inclusive and diverse societies’ and discussion were organised into 4 thematic panels focusing on the importance of  education in ‘minority’ communities, youth public participation, strategies for using the digital space and empowering ‘minority’ youth as agents of change for peace and stability.

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Weekly Brief November 24th

World Uyghur Congress, 24 November 2017

WUC Expresses Concern Over Uyghurs Who Recently Escaped from Thai Immigration Detention Facility

The World Uyghur Congress issued a press release expressing its deep concerned over the treatment of Uyghurs who had recently escaped their immigration detention facility in southern Thailand. Consistent rhetoric from China has framed all Uyghurs escaping the country as criminals who should be immediately returned, renewing fears that Thailand may submit to such pressure, as in the past.

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Police in China’s Xinjiang Raid Thousands of Muslim Kazakh Homes

Radio Free Asia, 16 November 2017

By Qiao Long – Chinese authorities in Tekes county in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have searched the homes of 30,000 members of the mostly Muslim Kazakh ethnic group in recent weeks, confiscating copies of the Quran, prayer mats and other religious items, RFA has learned.

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Uyghur Migrant Life in the City During the “People’s War”

Youth Circulations, 30 October 2017

By Darren Byler & Nicola Zolin — In May 2014 the Chinese state declared a “People’s War on Terror.” This war was directed at what was perceived to be the Islamic “extremism” of young Uyghur men and women. Uyghurs are a Turkic Muslim minority group that is indigenous to Chinese Central Asia, or what in colonial terms is referred to as “the New Dominion” (Xinjiang).

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Security clampdown bites in China’s Xinjiang region

Financial Times, 15 November 2017

By Emily Feng – Centuries ago merchants criss-crossed the deserts of Xinjiang, a crucial link for Silk Road trade into Central Asia and beyond. Today the Chinese region is in a state of virtual lockdown after the introduction of a sweeping new security regime that has affected virtually every aspect of daily life. 

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