PRESS RELEASE: WUC to Draw Attention to Religious Persecution of Uyghurs During Month of Ramadan

Press Release – For immediate release
15 May 2018
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or

The World Uyghur Congress, in collaboration with its affiliates, will mark the holy month of Ramadan by drawing attention to the severe religious persecution and deprivation of religious freedom for the Uyghur people in East Turkistan.

Continue Reading →

China: Visiting Officials Occupy Homes in Muslim Region

Human Rights Watch, 13 May 2018 

By Human Rights Watch – Chinese officials, since early 2018, have imposed regular “home stays” on families in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. These visits are part of the government’s increasingly invasive “Strike Hard” campaign in the region, home to 11 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities.

Continue Reading →

Weekly Brief May 11th

World Uyghur Congress, 11 May 2018

China Escalates Religious Persecution of Uyghurs Before Ramadan

As Uyghur Muslims prepare for the start of Ramadan next week, the Chinese government has been cracking down on freedom of religion, punishing Uyghurs for educating their children about religion & imprisoning those who share religious material on their phones.

It was reported this week by Radio Free Asia that a prominent Uyghur Imam was arrested an sentenced to 5 years in prison for taking his child to an unsanctioned religious school to meet other children. The younger generation in particular has been targeted and are not allowed to enter mosques or receive religious instructions from their parents. The Chinese government is trying to erode any religious sentiments among Uyghur children to ensure that future generations of Uyghurs have no ties to religion.

Continue Reading →

A New Gulag in China

National Review, 10 May 2018

By Jay Nordlinger – In the April 30 issue of this magazine, we published a piece about Jerome A. Cohen, a veteran American scholar of China. He told me that he was consumed, at present, by one thing above all: the mass incarceration of the Uyghur people, with no due process whatsoever. It reminded him of Austria and Germany, where some 40 of his relatives were murdered.

Continue Reading →

Xinjiang Authorities Jail Uyghur Imam Who Took Son to Unsanctioned Religious School

Radio Free Asia, 10 May 2018

By Shohret Hoshur – Authorities in Hotan (in Chinese, Heitian) prefecture, in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have sentenced a prominent imam to more than five years in prison for taking his son to an unsanctioned religious school to meet other children.

Abduheber Ahmet, the imam of the Dongbagh Mosque in Urchi township, in Hotan’s Qaraqash (Moyu) county, was initially detained in May 2017 and handed a five and a half-year jail term a month later, the ruling Chinese Communist Party secretary of Urchi township told RFA’s Uyghur Service.

The 46-year-old father of four “took one of his sons to an underground religious school” in Dongbagh village, the party secretary said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is said that he only took him once … I think it was four or five years ago … He took him there so that his son would meet and play with other children.”

Ahmet, a state-approved imam who had previously received a “five star” rating from officials, “revealed [his crime] himself during one of the confession meetings,” the secretary said, and received “leniency” because he admitted to it.

“Because the government and the party is fair, he was given a five and a half-year sentence, otherwise he would have received a seven-year prison term,” he added.

According to the secretary, Ahmet is serving his sentence in Bayin’gholin (Bayinguoleng) Mongol Autonomous Prefecture at the Reform Through Labor Prison in Korla (Kuerle) city.

He was sent to the prison “about 11 months ago,” he said.

‘Two-faced’ Uyghurs

Since April 2017, Uyghurs accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” views have been jailed or detained in re-education camps throughout the XUAR, where members of the ethnic group have long complained of pervasive discrimination, religious repression, and cultural suppression under Chinese rule.

In the months since XUAR party chief Chen was appointed to his post in August 2016, he has initiated unprecedented repressive measures against the Uyghur people and ideological purges against so-called “two-faced” Uyghur officials—a term applied by the government to Uyghurs who do not willingly follow directives and exhibit signs of “disloyalty.”

In October last year, RFA learned that authorities had jailed four grandchildren of Qurban Barat, the former imam of Hanliq Mosque in Qaraqash county, who was once recognized as a “Patriotic Religious Scholar” by the Communist Party for turning two alleged “separatists” in to the police.

The four received prison sentences of between five and a half and eight years because they “listened to religious teachings” and possessed “illegal religious materials,” Barat’s son told RFA at the time, adding that at least three other party members in his county have children or spouses who have been sentenced to prison or placed in re-education camps for religious violations.

China regularly conducts “strike hard” campaigns in Xinjiang, including police raids on Uyghur households, restrictions on Islamic practices, and curbs on the culture and language of the Uyghur people, including videos and other material.

While China blames some Uyghurs for “terrorist” attacks, experts outside China say Beijing has exaggerated the threat from the Uyghurs and that repressive domestic policies are responsible for an upsurge in violence there that has left hundreds dead since 2009.

Reported by by Shohret Hoshur for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by RFA’s Uyghur Service. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Continue Reading →

Human Rights Abuses Escalate in Xinjiang and Tibet: Forcible Medication in Detention Camps, Mass Surveillance

Epoch Times, 8 May 2018

By Annie Wu – Two recently published reports detail the intensification of human rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Continue Reading →

Chinese Authorities Detain Uyghur Hotelier in Xinjiang’s Kashgar City

Radio Free Asia, 7 May 2018

By Shohret Hoshur – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have detained the prominent ethnic Uyghur owner of a hotel in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) city, according to an official source.

Continue Reading →

Blood and Fear in Xinjiang

Foreign Policy, 4 May 2018

By James Palmer – On March 1, attackers with knives descended on a train station in the southern Chinese city of Kunming, killing at least 29. With the country still in shock, state news agency Xinhua has declared the assailants to be “Xinjiang separatists,” which almost certainly locates the perpetrators among China’s approximately 10 million Uighurs. The following story, which discusses relations between Uighurs and China’s majority Han, originally appeared in September 2013 on ChinaFile, an online magazine published by Asia Society’s Center on U.S. – China Relations.

Continue Reading →