China Targets Prominent Uighur Intellectuals to Erase an Ethnic Identity

The New York Times, 5 January 2019

By Austin Ramzy – As a writer and magazine editor, Qurban Mamut promoted the culture and history of his people, the Uighurs, and that of other Turkic minority groups who live in far western China. He did so within the strict confines of censorship imposed by the Chinese authorities, who are ever wary of ethnic separatism and Islamic extremism among the predominantly Muslim peoples of the region.

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Confronting China’s “War On Terror”

Socialist Worker, 4 January 2019

By David Brophy – For some 18 months now, ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang in northwest China have been living through unprecedented wave of repression. The most extreme element of this crackdown is a network of camps across the region, designated “re-education and training centers,” where anywhere from a few hundred thousand to upward of a million Muslim minorities have been indefinitely interned. Most victims are Uyghurs — the main non-Chinese ethnic group of the region, but the sweep has also caught Kazakhs and Kirghiz, who, like the Uyghurs, practice Islam.

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Weekly Brief January 4

World Uyghur Congress, 4 January 2019

Pressure Growing for the Muslim World to Speak Out on Uyghur Human Rights Crisis

Last week on behalf of the Uyghurs in East Turkistan as well as the Uyghur diaspora, the World Uyghur Congress President Dolkun Isa urgently appealed to the Muslim world, and leaders of Muslim-majority countries in particular, to finally end their long silence on the horrific persecution of Uyghurs. Thus far, the response of the Muslim world to the current crisis in East Turkistan has been incredibly disappointing. While Western states are increasingly active on the issue and have been publicly speaking out about the issue, Muslim-majority states have largely been indifferent or have completely ignored the situation.

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China thinks it can arbitrarily detain anyone. It is time for change

The Guardian, 4 January 2019

By Michael Caster – Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, has called China’s detention of Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor a “worrying precedent” but for many China watchers it is all too familiar.

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Recent Activities Suggest Xinjiang Authorities Anticipate International Inspection

The Epoch Times, 3 January 2019

By Isabel Van Brugen – Xinjiang officials are drastically ramping up efforts to conceal evidence of the scale and true nature of the “vocational re-education centers” where at least 1 million predominantly Uyghurs are believed to be held ahead of an expected international inspection, according to sources in the region.

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Masses of Prison Guards Needed to Staff Detentions

Bitter Winter, 3 January 2019

By Li Benbo Bitter Winter has reported in detail about the extensive – and escalating – campaign of mass arrests and detention of Uyghur, Hui, and other minorities in the Xinjiang region. It appears the mass detentions are creating a new problem for authorities: how to attract enough prison guards to supervise and control all the new political prisoners.

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‘Hundreds’ of cultural figures caught up in China’s Uyghur persecution

The Art Newspaper, 2 January 2019

By Lisa Movius – The recent detention of the photographer Lu Guang in north-west China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has sparked a global outpouring of protest. Lu Guang, who is known for his work documenting the ecological and human devastation of development in remote regions in China, is the first cultural figure from the Han Chinese majority population to disappear into the prisons of Xinjiang. 

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The ‘Patriotism’ Of Not Speaking Uyghur

Sup China, 2 January 2019

By Darren Byler – On October 27, 2018, Memtimin Ubul, a Communist Party deputy secretary of Kashgar’s Qaghaliq County, stated publicly something that had increasingly become the norm over the past two years in the Uyghur homeland. In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, it was now officially unpatriotic for Uyghur state employees to speak or write in Uyghur language.

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