China’s crackdown on Uighurs spreads to even mild critics

AP News, 28 December 2017

By Gerry Shih – Zhang Haitao was a rare voice in China, a member of the ethnic Han majority who for years had criticized the government on social media for its treatment of the minority Muslim Uighurs.

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Weekly Brief December 29th

World Uyghur Congress, 29 December 2017

Collection of DNA from Uyghur People by Chinese Authorities a Major Concern

As was reported in the Pacific Standard Magazine, the actions taken by the Chinese government to gather DNA and biometric data from the Uyghur people, Chinese dissidents and other ethnic populations should be a major concern for all of the world’s citizens. The mass collection of biometric data is being used to create a massive database to more easily monitor and control the Uyghur population and to silence dissenters. This is being done on an unprecedented scale and has been assisted by an American firm Thermo Fischer Scientific. This dystopian and repressive approach will surely have impacts beyond those on the Uyghur and Chinese populations. The rest of the world should be very concerned about what is occurring, as other repressive government may soon follow China’s example.

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AMERICANS SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT CHINA’S LATEST PRIVACY VIOLATION

Pacific Standard, 21 December 2017

By Massoud Hayoun – Local governments in the far-Western Chinese region of Xinjiang began collecting biometric data from residents in February, Human Rights Watch reported last week. The HRW report cites directives found primarily on local government websites, some of which have since been taken down. The biometric data included DNA samples, fingerprints, and iris scans, often collected during physical examinations, billed to the public as a social benefit designed to uplift the region’s economically distressed residents.

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China to Punish ‘Two-Faced’ Uyghur Officials in New Reward Scheme

Radio Free Asia, 26 December 2017

By Shohret Hoshur – Rewards provided by authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region to tipsters for outing would-be “terrorists” are also being offered to those reporting ethnic Uyghur officials and public figures suspected of “disloyalty” to Beijing, according to sources.

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Stepped-up Surveillance of Uighurs Sends ‘Realtives’ into Homes

Voice of America, 26 December 2017

By Joyce Huang – Authorities in Xinjiang launched what they call a new “relatives’ week” program this month, which requires local civil servants to spend a week with Uighur families in rural areas by the year’s end.

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Weekly Brief December 22nd

World Uyghur Congress, 22 December 2017

Two Uyghur Students Die in Chinese Custody After Voluntary Return from Egypt

The WUC is deeply saddened by reports of the deaths of 2 Uyghur students in Chinese custody after voluntarily returning from Egypt. According to Radio Free Asia, Abdusalam Mamat and Yasinjan were immediately detained by Chinese police after voluntarily returning from studying in Egypt. They reportedly had no prior medical conditions prior to their detention.

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Twelve Days in Xinjiang: How China’s Surveillance State Overwhelms Daily Life

Wall Street Journal, 20 December 2017

By Josh Chin & Clément Bürge – This city on China’s Central Asia frontier may be one of the most closely surveilled places on earth.

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Nearly 10 Percent of Residents of a Xinjiang Township Detained by Chinese Authorities

Radio Free Asia, 14 December 2014

Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have detained nearly 10 percent of the population of a township in ethnic Uyghur-dominated Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture, according to sources, following an incident three years ago.

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