Uyghur Update: 4th-10th July

I have been sick so let’s go by headlines and dot points for this one. China is creating a helluva mess, honestly… can’t they give us a break..? anyway…

July 5th Anniversary

So, protests were held marking July 5th in places such as Munich, Canberra, Melbourne, Switzerland, Turkey, America. Here’s one in Hamburg that took place over 2 days with Uyghurs from Germany, Switzerland and Norway. More photos.

The WUC penned an open letter to hold China accountable for those who have disappeared since July 5th, 2009. They have also been publishing information about missing people on their Twitter feed, such as this. They will be adding those who have been deported from Egypt to their list soon, I believe.

There were some interesting personal accounts of the date on Facebook. I made a “thread” on Instagram explaining the situation as well.

Organisations Condemning China

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has released a condemnation on China’s Ramadan ban, which also mentioned July 5th and Gulmira Imin, a political prisoner. The article links to a video of the speech in support of her. The Economist covered it in an article which was… weird.

UHRP released a statement cautioning people to read China’s White Paper on the human rights situation in the Uyghur region with skepticism until “independent media and UN Special Rapporteurs are allowed into the region to investigate them.”

Amnesty International UK did a press release urging China to “end ‘vicious crackdown’ on human rights lawyers”.

Detainment

Over a hundred Uyghurs coming back from pilgrimage have been detained. I urge you to read the article; it’s fairly short and mostly has quotes from an interview with a Chinese lawyer who has seen the Uyghurs being detained.

Terminally ill Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo is still in Chinese custody despite wanting to leave the country. China claims he and his family are happy, close friends say there is literally no evidence of that, and they want to leave. The German and American doctors who had a look at him had already said they would take him into their hospitals, but China has not granted permission. Treatment has now been ceased. An article came out saying that his treatment shows that China is not yet ready for global leadership. Global Times released an article saying that Liu is a prisoner and having him treated for his condition is enough to fulfill humanitarian needs, and that wanting him moved to a different country is a political move by outdated overseas dissidents who want to show China as inhuman. They say everything they are doing is completely legal in China but lol I highly doubt they are in line with international regulations, which they forgot to mention. But it was interesting because the article states that China is now “…stronger and more confident, and will not yield to Western pressure.” I think that statement rings true in a lot of areas… not just their treatment of political prisoners…

A Kazakh voice actor and movie translator has been detained “…probably because of something he did or said online… But the authorities don’t need a reason to detain people anymore.” This is one example of a few cases of Kazakh persecution by China in recent times.

Students in Egypt

Reports of the arrests of Uyghur students in Egypt were gaining traction on Facebook and Twitter for a little before larger news outlets and human rights organisations caught on, especially these videos and photos. Human Rights Watch began to circulate this Tweet, followed by news outlets such as the Washington Post, Middle East Monitor, NY Times, Al Jazeera, RFA, Reuters, ABC News. From what I remember, China asked Egypt to deport it’s Uyghurs, Egypt obliged (on no legal basis), there are some trade deals happening, the usual shenanigans. The students targeted are mostly those studying religion, and only Uyghurs, not other Muslim minorities. You’d think a Muslim country would help Uyghur people but ah… in the name of trade… *cough*Pakistan*cough*

HRW then released a letter to the Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb of Al-Azhar University, where most of the students were studying. It asked him to stop the Egyptian authorities from deporting the students. They also requested that Egypt not send Uyghurs to China. An urgent action appeal was created by Amnesty International as well.

Uyghur groups, along with UNPO, started a social media campaign with the hashtag #freeuyghurstudents. As of now there are a few videos on Twitter and Facebook urging Egypt to stop deporting Uyghur students (just go on Facebook or Twitter and type in the hashtag to watch). A group of us also started a GoFundMe after I received a message on Instagram asking whether they can donate money to the students. Please click the link for more information on where the money will be going.

Uhm… someone shared this… this video showing Uyghur performances… apparently in Egypt on the 6th of July… Idk what kinda… there were probably Chinese officials visiting… sigh…

Apparently, Al-Azhar University is looking into the cases and working with authorities to release the students (after an initial denial). I’m not sure if it is actually happening though. This comes a couple of days after the initial reports. Meanwhile, more videos of arrests have been coming out, and the round-ups have continued.

Chinese Laws

NGOs are still being hit hard by new laws. China claims their laws will help foreign NGOs and weed out those illegal groups that harm security, but the groups say otherwise.

UNESCO named a large area of land as a World Heritage Site, which has been disastrous for Tibet as it will allow China to relocate/resettle those who live there. It’s probably because of this:

The report also complained that China’s application exempted a two-and-a-half-mile-wide corridor in which a highway and railway bisect the region, allowing unfettered development. That, the report noted, would threaten the migratory paths of the antelope the designation is meant to protect.

Oh China and their bloody railroads…

New modes of censorship was covered in this article in The Diplomat. Eh… China does not look like it’s going to stop any time soon…

Foreign Policy

China’s Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan – a longer read (so I haven’t read it yet) but the description says: China, traditionally averse to intervening abroad, is testing the role of peacebuilder in South Sudan, where it has unique leverage. This could portend a growing global security role, but further Chinese engagement will likely be tempered by self-interest, capacity constraints and aversion to risk. — so it looks interesting. Saving for later.

This article was also published which discusses the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Initiative by China. Again, I have not read it yet because this cold is doing my head in.

It looks like China has deployed a submarine into Indian territory now… so… again… China is sticking it’s claws in everywhere…

Some articles were revealed that seem to show what China wants with the South China Sea. Basically:

The article comes from a special class of periodical published by the Chinese military for “internal distribution.” These are not classified documents per se. Rather, they are teaching materials and scholarly works written for a select audience. Due to this restricted access, these works are both candid and extremely authoritative. As such, they offer invaluable insights into the thinking of the Chinese military and party-state.

…which actually sounds really interesting so I’ll link it here for y’all to read.

Another little update on OBOR:  Silk Road Economic Belt: Challenges and Prospects

 

Outside of Politics (mostly?)

The Uyghur American Cup was held in Boston from July 1st-4th and I believe Uyghur United won…

I found this video which was really random but really interesting about black people experiencing racism in China.

This is a bit old, posted in January, but it is an article by Alice Su (who was part of the podcast in the last news update) about religious shrines and a quick look at the political climate with regards to religion.

And finally, an “extraordinary general assembly” is going to be held in August this year for the WUC. Not quite sure what will be discussed, but these are the people who are going to be there:

  • World Uyghur Congress leaders
  • Various local Uyghur organization leaders and representatives
  • Uyghur intellectuals
  • Elders of the Uyghur community
  • Youth representatives
  • Popular political activists
  • Observers

Maybe you can sign up to go if you’re curious?

As always, let me know if I missed anything.

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