Weekly Brief October 27th

World Uyghur Congress, 27 October 2017

Party Secretary Known For Repression in East Turkestan and Tibet Appointed to Politburo

China’s 19th Party Congress continued in a very concerning direction this week, as the former Party Secretary for Tibet and current Party Secretary for East Turkestan, Chen Quanguo, was appointed to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Chen Quanguo made his name in the Chinese government by implementing a series of repressive policies to stifle any expressions of dissent, first in Tibet and now in East Turkestan.

Since his appointment as Party Secretary in East Turkestan, Chinese authorities have sent tens of thousands of police and military personnel to East Turkestan and have heavily securities the area. Countless roadblocks across the region, the extensive use of invasive forms of surveillance and the mass arrest and detention of Uyghurs merely seeking to peacefully practice their religion or express themselves, has led to an oppressive and suffocating environment. These policies have been enacted with little to no regard to the lives, well-being and basic rights of the Uyghur people that they affect.

His appointment is seen as a reward by Xi Jinping for his role is suppressing and controlling the Uyghur and Tibetan authorities. It is then a very worrying indication of the intention and direction of the Chinese government over the next five years and will likely mean further oppression and violence towards the Uyghurs, Tibetans and all Chinese individuals who speak up for human rights and democracy.

Elderly Uyghurs Among the Thousands Held in Re-Education Camps

It has been reported this week that a number of elderly Uyghurs were detained and sent to re-education camps by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan. According to Radio Free Asia, they were investigated and targeted for peacefully practicing their religion and were sent to the camps after undertaking the Hajj and for praying five times a day at a local mosque. Thousands of Uyghurs have been detained and sent to re-education camps to be indoctrinated in recent years, but subjecting the elderly to this sort of punishment is particularly egregious.