Uighurs returned to China ‘disappear’ says rights group

Originally published by BBC, 29 January 2010

China must account for the whereabouts of ethnic Uighurs forcibly repatriated from Cambodia, a US-based rights group has said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said such groups had “disappeared into a black hole” on their return to China.

The Uighurs fled to Cambodia after mass ethnic riots in China in July. Beijing has referred to them as criminals.

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China cracks down on text messaging in Xinjiang

Originally published by The Guardian, 29 January 2010

Residents punished for spreading rumours and ‘splittist’ messages within days of services being switched back on.

Authorities in China’s troubled north-western region of Xinjiang have punished residents for spreading rumours and “splittist” content via text messages, within days of turning services back on, according to local media.

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US seeks China transparency in Xinjiang trials

Originally published by AFP, 28 January 2010

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Thursday urged China to be more transparent in its trials in the Xinjiang region as courts handed down more death sentences over last year’s deadly ethnic unrest.

The State Department voiced disappointment that China did not agree to US requests to observe the court proceedings.

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FOUR NEW DEATH SENTENCES ISSUED IN EAST TURKESTAN; CELL PHONE USERS PUNISHED FOR SENDING “HARMFUL TEXTS”

For immediate release

January 27, 2010, 2:45 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the issuance on January 25 of four new death sentences to Uyghurs in connection with unrest that took place in July 2009 in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan. The trials and convictions of these four men, announced on January 26 in Chinese state media, took place against a backdrop of unfair trials, a politicized judicial process and a lack of judicial transparency.

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UYGHUR AMERICAN ASSOCIATION CONDEMNS PATTERN OF UYGHUR REFUGEE REFOULEMENT FOLLOWING REPORTED DEPORTATIONS FROM MYANMAR

For immediate release

January 26, 2010, 12:30 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns the trend of the deportation of Uyghur refugees from countries near China, following reports that 17 Uyghurs, together with one Han Chinese man, were deported last week from Myanmar. The Chinese news portal Sina.com reported on January 20 that the 18 individuals were handed over to Chinese authorities on January 18. UAA calls upon the Chinese government to clarify this news, and, if it is accurate, to publicize information about the current whereabouts and treatment of the deportees. In addition, UAA calls upon countries neighboring China to refrain from deporting Uyghurs to China, where they may be subjected to extremely harsh treatment.

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Four more death sentences over Xinjiang unrest

Originally published by BBC, 26 January 2010

China says four more people have been sentenced to death over last year’s ethnic unrest in Xinjiang province.

At least 25 people are now thought to have received death sentences over the violence – nine of the executions have already been carried out.

Nearly 200 people were killed in July during fighting between ethnic Uighurs and members of China’s Han majority in the regional capital, Urumqi.

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Xinjiang residents cope with losing Net access

Originally published by San Francisco Chronicle, 24 January 2010

They arrive at this gritty desert crossroads weary from a 13-hour train ride but determined. The promised land lies just across the railway station plaza: a large, white sign that says “Easy Connection Internet Cafe.”

The visitors are Internet refugees from China’s western Xinjiang region, whose 20 million people had been without links to the outside world since the government blocked virtually all online access, text messages and international phone calls after ethnic riots in July. It’s the largest and longest such blackout in the world, observers say. In the past week, a few restrictions have eased, but most remain in effect.

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Internet refugees flee Xinjiang

Originally published by Taipei Times, 23 January 2010

Xinjiang has no e-mail, no blogs, no instant messaging and only four restricted Web sites. Some travel more than 1,000km for services most of us can’t imagine living without

They arrive at this gritty desert crossroads weary from a 13-hour train ride, but determined. The promised land lies just across the railway station plaza: a large, white sign that says “Easy Connection Internet Cafe.”

The visitors are Internet refugees from China’s Xinjiang, whose 20 million people have been without links to the outside world since the government blocked virtually all online access, text messages and international phone calls after ethnic riots in July. It’s the largest and longest such blackout in the world, observers say.

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