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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Weekly Brief January 5th

World Uyghur Congress, 5 January 2017

Uyghurs Detained in ‘Re-education Camps’ Subjected to Overcrowding, Squalid Conditions

This week, Radio Free Asia reported that the thousands of innocent Uyghurs detained in the government-run ‘re-education camps’ in Korea city are enduring terrible conditions as they are being held against their will and subjected to indoctrination. Citing a former employee at the camps, Radio Free Asia reported that the Uyghurs detained in these facilities were held in overcrowded and squalid conditions, due to the large numbers of Uyghurs being held there. Despite this, more Uyghurs and being arrested and sent to these facilities daily.

China’s Surveillance of Uyghurs Intensifies

Globe and Mail Reporter Nathan VanderKlippe, who was briefly detained by Chinese authorities earlier in the year for reporting on the situation in East Turkestan, reported on the massive efforts taken by the Chinese government to monitor and track the Uyghur people in East Turkestan. Even in rural villages, the streets are filled with security cameras and police stations are a common sight, in some areas they are less than 500 meters apart.This overbearing surveillance and constant monitoring of all activities has made life difficult for all people in East Turkestan.

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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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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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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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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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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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