Weekly Brief – February 28th

World Uyghur Congress, 28 February 2020

WUC Raises Uyghur Crisis at the 43rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

This week the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC) started in Geneva. In her written update to the UN HRC, UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet mentioned that she welcomed China’s apparent decision to grant her a visit to East Turkistan this year. She further called for unfettered access to investigate allegations of serious human rights violations against Uyghurs and others. The High Commissioner had requested a visit on three occasions over the last year and a half, which have been routinely denied or deflected by the Chinese government. The WUC has been calling for a UN led independent investigation to the region and insists that the High Commissioner be given unfettered and meaningful access to the region and the camp facilities, if she is finally allowed to visit. 

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Uighur activists say China’s coronavirus measures are causing widespread hunger

Hong Kong Free Press, 27 February 2020

Below is an article published by Hong Kong Free Press, Photo Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Draconian measures by China to curb the coronavirus have caused widespread hunger in the tightly controlled Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang, ethnic Uighur activists charged Wednesday.

The Uighur Human Rights Project, a Washington-based advocacy group, also voiced concern that the COVID-19 could spread in internationally condemned camps where more than one million Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims are incarcerated.

The group said that China imposed a quarantine with little advance notice in parts of Xinjiang in late January after at least two COVID-19 cases in the regional capital Urumqi.

Citing videos, photos and residents’ conversations with members of the Uighur diaspora, the group said that “many” people have gone short on food, medicine or other critical supplies as they have been ordered to stay inside their homes.

In one video believed to have been shot last week in Yining county, a man is heard shouting at officials, “I’m starving. My wife and children are starving,” before banging his head into a pole and shouting, “Do you want to kill me? Just kill me.”

The group vouched for the video’s authenticity, saying the man and the person who filmed the episode were taking great risks by both breaking the quarantine and circulating the footage.
Radio Free Asia earlier reported that in the city of Artux, authorities erected metal fences almost two meters (six feet) high to keep residents from leaving their neighborhoods.

China has imposed quarantines in numerous parts of the country to contain the novel coronavirus, which originated in the central city of Wuhan and has since killed more than 2,700 people worldwide, the vast majority in China.

China has come under international criticism for its treatment of the Uighurs, with activists and witnesses saying it is trying to forcibly integrate the mostly Muslim ethnicity and strip their Islamic heritage.
Beijing has described the camps as educational, saying it is providing minorities with training and discouraging Islamic extremisim.

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U.N. rights boss expected in China, including restive Xinjiang region, this year: envoy

Reuter, 26 February 2020

Below is an article published by Reuter, Photo REUTERS/Denis Balibouse.

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Weekly Brief: 21 February 2020

World Uyghur Congress, 21 February 2020

The Karakax List reveals the extent of China’s arbitrary detention of Uyghurs
On February 17, an international consortium of journalists published new leaked documents from the Karakay district of East Turkistan revealing the extent of China’s arbitrary detention and treatment of Uyghurs.

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Event Announcement: Repressed, Detained and Disappeared: Uyghur Human Rights Crisis

Press Release – For immediate release
18 February 2020

Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is organizing a week-long photo exhibition: ‘’Repressed, Detained and Disappeared: Uyghur Human Rights Crisis ’’ inside a tent at the Broken Chair square in Geneva, in front of the United Nations building (1202 Geneva, Switzerland), from February 24 to February 28, 2020. This event will take place during the first week of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, where world’s leaders and high-level officials will be present for the occasion. 

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Watched, judged, detained

CNN, 18 February 2020

Below is an article published by CNN, Photo NRD.

Ivan Watson, Ben Westcott — Rozinsa Mamattohti couldn’t sleep or eat for days after she read the detailed records the Chinese government had been keeping on her entire family.

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Exclusive: China’s systematic tracking, arrests of Uighurs exposed in new Xinjiang leak

DW, 17 February 2020

Below is an article published by DW, Photo NDR.

William Yang, Sandra Petersmann In May 2017, a Uighur man was taken away to a “re-education camp” in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. As an observant Muslim, the man prayed at home after meals, and sometimes attended Friday prayers at his local mosque. The reasons for his forced internment: His wife had covered her face with a veil and the couple had “too many” children. There was never a trial.

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