Weekly Brief April 13th

World Uyghur Congress, 13 April 2018

WUC Issues Call for Information on Disappearances and Detentions in ‘Re-education’ Camps

This week, the WUC issued an open call for information from the Uyghur community about disappearances or arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs in ‘re-education’ camps in East Turkestan.

As part of the ongoing efforts by the WUC to address the mass arbitrary detention of an estimated 1 million Uyghurs in ‘re-education’ camps by the Chinese government, the WUC is collecting information and names of individuals who are currently detained in these camps. During our upcoming protest in Brussels on April 27th against the mass arbitrary detention, the WUC will submit a list of names of Uyghurs currently held in these ‘re-education’ camps to the institutions of the European Union and demand that the EU take action to push for their immediate release.

If you have a family member or loved one who is currently detained in a ‘re-education’ camp or who you suspect is being held in the camps, and if you are comfortable with sharing that information, please email us at contact@uyghurcongress.org.

Uyghurs Forced to Download Surveillance App on Phones that Tells Them to Delete “Dangerous” Images

Megha Rajagopalan reported for BuzzFeed News that the Chinese government  is forcing Uyghurs to download a surveillance app that scans their phones for audio & video files, sends these to an outside server and orders Uyghurs to delete “dangerous” content. The application is called Jingwang Weishi  (web cleansing) and operates by recording a phone’s identifying information, including its IMEI number, model, phone number, and manufacturer and automatically searches through the phone for unique identifiers associated with files, particularly photos, audio recordings, and videos, researchers found.

This adds to the already overbearing and invasive surveillance measures Uyghurs are subjected to on account of their ethnic identity.

Chinese Government Converts Ethnic ‘Minority’ Schools into Ethnic ‘Minority’ Detention Centres

China Aid reported this week that so-called ethnic ‘minority’ schools, which were created to cater to the educational needs of non-Han ethnicity, were officially banned by the Chinese government in March 2018. Only schools catering to Han Chinese, conducted in the Mandarin Chinese language, were permitted and ethnic ‘minority’ students are being forced to attend these schools. The buildings of the ethnic ‘minority’ schools are now being converted into ‘re-education’ camps, to arbitrarily detain thousands of Uyghurs.

Uyghur Father of Two Dies of Medical Complications While in a ‘Re-education’ Camp

A 34 year old Uyghur man and a father of two has reportedly died while in detention in a ‘re-education camp in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture this week. He reportedly died of medical complications after not receiving sufficient medical treatment in the camps. There is a demonstrable pattern of Uyghurs and Chinese dissidents dining in Chinese custody from neglect, torture or other mysterious circumstances. In just the past year, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, Uyghur scholar and religious leader Muhammad Salih Hajim and at least 4 other Uyghurs have died in Chinese custody in mysterious circumstances.

Still No Answers for Uyghur Woman on Her Husband’s Disappearance

Over 9 months after her husband was detained in a mass arrest of Uyghur students in Egypt and disappeared in Egyptian custody, Munzire still has no answers about his whereabouts or well-being. He is one of at least 20 Uyghurs who disappeared after being detained in Egypt, many of whom are assumed to have been extradited to China. The arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance of innocent Uyghur students is a severe human rights violation that not only impacts the victims themselves, but also their family members and loved ones.