Uyghur Update: 15th-22nd August

Sorry if this seems a little rushed. I am swamped. Tell me if I missed anything major.


In the Uyghur Region

If anyone can offer a translation of this image:


Apparently this is a list of new restrictions in Hotan. From what I’ve gathered on Twitter: any sudden changes in people’s power or water usage to be immediately reported and investigated. “All citizens full surveillance” requirement means that all movements of all citizens are always registered. Uyghurs can only enter banks, supermarkets, hotels, bus stations after showing ID, and are subject to thorough searches (I’m pretty sure this was happening already). Every village is to hold a flag raising ceremony every Monday morning, along with patriotic education (this is definitely already happening).

News of the number of Chinese teachers, police, and civil servants that will be sent to East Turkestan was released… 30,000… God help us…

Oh… hooray… a 3 million RMB donation for the creation of yet another police station in Turpan.

So news came out that an Uyghur veterinarian was sentence for 8 years in jail because he removed a bullet from the leg of a protester, even though he had not been involved in the protests himself. The story is summarised neatly by RFA:

On July 28, 2014, Uyghur residents of Elishku township, in Kashgar’s Yarkand (Shache) county, protested the detention of a dozen Uyghur women for praying overnight at a local mosque and the subsequent indiscriminate use of force and extra-judicial killings by Chinese security forces in several townships.

Authorities fired on the protesters with live ammunition and at least 96 people were killed in the ensuing violence, according to Chinese state media, though Uyghur exile groups have said as many as 2,000 may have died. A crackdown by police in the county following the incident led to mass jailings of work-age Uyghur males.

Speaking to RFA’s Uyghur Service on the third anniversary of the violence, Yasinjan Helil, the party secretary of nearby Tomosteng township’s No. 9 village, suggested that he had maintained stability at the time as “only a veterinarian from my township was involved in the incident, while several hundred others were from neighboring townships.”

When pressed for more information about the jailed veterinarian, Helil confirmed that 65-year-old Haliq Mahmut, also of Tomosteng, had been sentenced to eight years in prison for removing a bullet from the leg of a wounded fellow Uyghur that asked him for assistance at his home on the night of the incident.

“Even the veterinarian was not directly or knowingly involved in the incident—it was an accidental case,” he said.

“The wounded suspect had come to his house at midnight after the violence and asked him to remove the bullet from his leg. The veterinarian did as requested.”

According to Helil, Mahmut and the suspect knew of one another, but “had no actual relationship.”

He hadn’t even been at the incident. The wounded man had come to his doorstep at midnight! I guess there is no such this as the Hippocratic Oath in China. Or being a decent human being.

We already knew that kitchen knives and such had to be stamped for ID purposes but here’s further proof that it extends to anything sharp, like sickles used for farming.

Here’s a little summary that was released recently of the “economic realities” behind the “civil strife” in East Turkestan.

China is still cracking down heavily on Kyrgyz and Kazakh people and those who are studying overseas. Their passports are being confiscated. And they can’t talk about a certain boxer? China wtf?


Chinese Censorship

This article came out analysing China’s surveillance methods and plans for Uyghurs and the whole of their own country, too. Dystopian, yes, Orweillan, yes, and the “social credit” thing reminds me a bit of that anime Psycho-Pass.

More commentary on the issue of Chinese censorship in Turkey.

Cambridge University Press caved into Chinese pressure to remove about 300 articles from their China Quarterly, which covered a range of topics deemed sensitive by Beijing. This, obviously, sparked outrage in the academic community. Apple VPN apps are one thing, but removing “sensitive” documents from an academic journal published by the publishing arm of Cambridge University, the world’s oldest publishing house? In response to the outrage, they reinstated the articles (and published a letter from the editor on their Twitter). Cambridge University also released a letter. Here is another article on the censorship request which includes some quotes from people and links to some interesting stuff, such as the list of the articles that had been taken down. I wonder if China will ban the journal altogether:

State-run tabloid the Global Times said in an editorial on Monday that the removal of the articles would have little impact because the journal’s readership was small, adding that leaving was an option if institutions do not like China’s rules.

“Western institutions have the freedom to choose. If they don’t like the Chinese way, they can stop engaging with us,” the paper, a nationalistic tabloid published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said.

“If they think China’s internet market is so important that they can’t miss out, they need to respect Chinese law and adapt to the Chinese way.”

See, this is where I think it is the responsibility of every democratic country and organisation to stick to their ideals instead of give into “Chinese law”. Cambridge did good in advocating academic freedom. Now if everyone else would stop hypocritically supporting China to exploit their cheap labour and extensive markets…


Outside of the Region

The US Secretary of State Tillerson made some remarks on the 2016 International Religious Freedom Annual Report which mentioned Uyghurs and Tibetans and our lack of religious freedom. Here is the section of the report that focuses on China and Uyghurs. Obviously, China was pretty mad about it lmao. I know some people will say that it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but at least in this case the US’s problems are in the limelight, and people are actively working towards a country where racial and religious discrimination is discontinued. In China the discrimination is overtly implicated in their laws despite their claims otherwise, and they continue to deny that Uyghurs and Tibetans are marginalised in any way (while they literally kill us).

Here is an article questioning the protective status of the EU for Uyghurs as China gains more influence in the region. In a similar vein, UNPO released an article condemning Italy for detaining Dolkun Isa.

WUC released a letter condemning the Umbrella Movement leaders’ unfair sentencing.

An opinion piece about why China’s treatment of Uyghurs is bad for the rest of the world.

Also… how is this kid only 20 and being sentenced for being one of the leaders of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong…? As a kid I would take it for granted that all these ‘adults’ would go off to fight in war or lead passionate rebellions… but now I look at them and they are just teenagers… It is inspirational. I can sort of see why all the protagonists in books about saving the world are teenagers or young adults.





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