Weekly Brief January 19th

World Uyghur Congress, 19 January 2018

European Parliamentarians Issue Press Statement Calling on Bulgaria not to Deport Uyghur Asylum Seekers to China

Six Members of the European Parliament have signed a joint press statement calling on the Bulgarian Government not to deport 5 Uyghur asylum seekers to China. The five Uyghur asylum seekers were arrested by Bulgarian police on July 27, 2017 after crossing the border from Turkey and have been held in the Lyumbimets Detention Centre since then. Their initial asylum applications were denied by Bulgarian immigration authorities and they are currently appealing those decisions. The appeal hearings will be held on January 26th, 2018. If forcibly returned to China, the 5 Uyghurs would be at risk of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and death.

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A police state in Xinjiang in which moderate voices are silenced is not what China needs to achieve stability

SCMP, 17 January 2018

By Roseann Rife – Four years ago this week, the renowned Uygur economist Ilham Tohti was detained by Chinese authorities and eventually sentenced to life in prison for separatism. Commentators predicted that the authorities intended to initiate a severe crackdown in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to head off growing ethnic tensions and silence moderate voices. They were right; the region is now a virtual police state.

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Weekly Brief January 12th

World Uyghur Congress, 12 January 2018

CECC Chairs Highlight Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in East Turkestan

The two chairs of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative, issued a statement this week highlighting the deteriorating human rights situations in East Turkestan and the persecution of Uyghurs by the Chinese authorities. The statement expresses particular concern for the expansive security system and increasingly invasive surveillance tactics being used by the Chinese government, such as the mass collection of DNA from the Uyghur people, to create a biometric database to more easily track and control Uyghurs, Tibetans and Chinese dissidents. It condemned these measures as a ‘gross violation of privacy and international human rights’.

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Uyghur Detentions Continue in Xinjiang, Despite Pledge to End With Party Congress

Radio Free Asia, 8 January 2018

By Shohret Hoshur – More than two months since the Communist Party Congress in Beijing, authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region continue to place ethnic Uyghurs deemed “extremists” in political re-education camps, despite assurances the detentions would end after the sensitive annual meeting.

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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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China’s Uighur minority shackled by digital technology as thousands are detained for ‘vocational training’

The Independent, 18 December 2017

By Gerry Shih – Nobody knows what happened to the Uighur student after he returned to China from Egypt and was taken away by police

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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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