Uyghur Update: 6th – 13th October

I have so much to do… but I should keep this update up at least…

In the Uyghur Region

An article outlining how knives need to be ID’d – some even with QR codes! A neighbourhood organisation announced:

According to the demands of present stability maintenance work, all neighborhood households’ cutting tools with blades exceeding 10 centimeters must have QR codes embossed on them. Scrap knives must be handed in for safekeeping. Pass this message on.

Here’s the RFA report on the same topic with more specific details.

RFA reports that certain townships have to fill a certain percentage quota of people to send to re-education camps. 40%?? Wtf. Apparently kids whose parents have both been detained are sent to orphanages :(. They also report more arrests, specifically the grandchildren of an Imam who had once been named “patriotic religious scholar” for turning in two “separatists” to police.

They have straight up banned Uyghur and Kazakh language teaching books in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture:

“The use of any ethnic minority-language translations of compulsory national texts used in the delivery of Morals and the Rule of Law and History lessons … must be terminated immediately,” said the notice, which is titled “Notification regarding the use of ethnic-minority language textbooks and teaching materials and related matters.”

The document also warns: “Schools must not flout these rules by continuing to use ethnic minority-language materials. Any found doing so will be reported to a higher level of government.”

Luo Dan, the official named on the notice as the contact person for the Yining county education bureau, confirmed that the directive is genuine, and is being implemented.

“This is a genuine document issued by the regional government,” Luo told RFA on Friday.

“The use of all Uyghur and Kazakh-language textbooks and teaching materials in language and literature has ceased,” Luo said, adding: “We will also be sending out another directive today regarding teaching materials.”

So apparently Uyghurs are banned from hotels in China and this one hotel was fined for allowing Uyghurs to stay. Here is the original article from RFA. Looks like Claire Heffron of Daily Mail has gone and made RFA one of her main sources of news? Cool.

International

These photos were circling around the internet. Apparently Turkish citizens were being recruited to spy on Uyghurs? Wtf.

This article came out in The Diplomat which outlined how and why Uyghurs were being oppressed. I saw a bit of dissatisfaction on Twitter about the over-generalisations about all Han being loyal to the Party and the Uyghurs not speaking a “Chinese language”. But… in general I think the message is about right. Plus it was written by a white guy with a Masters who’s into risky politics so it’s not biased at all lmao.

Another Diplomat article that mentions Uyghurs in light of Beijing’s handling of politics abroad. It also mentions how Uyghurs are part of the “five poisonous groups” – along with the Falun Gong, Tibetans, Chinese democracy advocates and supporters of Taiwanese independence. How nice. And here’s more of an update on press/freedom news in regards to China. It mentions news like this, which makes me sad:

Rozi, now 25, was a student at Central Nationalities University of China in Beijing when she was taken into custody in January 2014. An ethnic Uighur, she was one of seven students of Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti who were jailed for their alleged work on the Uighur-language website Uighur Online after Tohti himself was sentenced to life imprisonment. Rozi was tried on “separatism” charges in November 2014 and sentenced to prison the following month. The precise length of her sentence remains unclear, but it is believed to be between three and eight years. No information about her treatment or situation since then has reached the international community.

Prior to her detention, Rozi was an active social media user, posting messages in English, Chinese, and Uighur, including occasional links to articles on Uighur Online and expressions of admiration for Ilham Tohti as “the conscience of the Uighur people.” A profile in Foreign Policy notes that “online, Rozi comes across as both sweet and tough, posting photos of herself with a flower by her face but also complaining bitterly about being denied a passport.” The passport complaints gained national attention at the time as an example of the discrimination faced by China’s ethnic minorities, but they also prompted the police to interrogate Rozi and her mother in February 2013.

Another notable set of posts were related to the disappearance into detention of her boyfriend, Mutellip Imin, in 2013. Although he was later released, Imin was detained again in January 2014 and sentenced along with Rozi and the other five Tohti students in late 2014. Either Rozi or Imin could be among those who received three-year sentences, meaning their possible release date is approaching, or has already passed if they are credited with time served in pretrial detention. Reprisals against young Uighurs for nonviolent online activities continue, but renewed international requests for information about Rozi’s fate could help ensure her safety and freedom.

Woroni, an ANU publication (which had made a few questionable choices over the years that I was there) published this article: The Truth About The Chinese Students And Scholars Association. Lowkey surprised at Woroni’s overt attack, but then again I shouldn’t be because they were always provocative. For once though this is something I lowkey agree with so lol enjoy. Also this was an interesting tidbit about a protest I was at:

This year the embassy used the CSSA to drown out protesters when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Canberra. Ahead of the event, embassy officials arrived at the ANU to train hundreds of CSSA members. Students at these training sessions were divided into ‘security squads’ and told: ‘Male comrades must protect female comrades.’ They were instructed to watch out for the ‘five poisons’ – meaning activists for Tibetan independence, Xinjiang independence, Taiwanese independence, the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners and democracy.

There were a couple of articles on academic scholarship and the hardships of research in China right now. The Han-opticon: The hazards of China research in the Xi era & In China, Scholars Are Being Punished Amid Growing Squeeze On Public Expression. And, well, Reporters Without Borders placed China 176/180 on the countries with most press freedom list, 180 being N Korea.

Also, China talked at the UN and apparently pushed for human rights with Chinese characteristics. Here’s a blog piece about it.

Academic

There was a conference which was apparently quite good – a few people I know went and spoke so that was pretty cool.  It was called “Mobility, Technology and the Environment in Asia” and went for 3 days at Drexel University, PA. Sections targeting Uyghur education:

Panel C4: Transformations of Identity Through Mobility

Maihemuti Dilimulati, McGill University, “A Comparative Inquiry of Muslim Uyghur Skilled Immigrants’ Identity Reconstruction Experiences in French and English Canada”

Panel E5: Challenges and New Opportunities in Uyghur Education
Chair: Rebecca Clothey, Drexel University

1. Mettursun Beydulla, Independent Scholar, “Education Among Uyghurs at Home and in the Diaspora: Past, Present and Future Prospects”
2. Selime Kemal, Australian Uyghur Language School, “Following our Forefather’s Footsteps: A Wave of Opening Schools (1985–2005)”
3. Abdulhamit Karahan, Uyghur Academy, Turkey, “Activities of Uyghur Academy and its Impact on Diaspora Uyghurs”
4. Rushan Abbas, Campaign for Uyghurs, “Maintaining Uyghur Language Consistency”

Panel F5: Uyghur Mother Tongue Transmission Across Generations
Chair: Erkin Sidik, NASA Jet Proportion Laboratory

1. Eset Sulayman, Radio Free Asia, “Uyghur Mother Tongue Education and the Generation Gap in the Uyghur Diaspora Communities in the West”
2. Tahir Imin, Independent Scholar, “A Struggling Identity of New Generation between Politicised Compulsory Education and Uyghur National Education through Private Schools and Childrearing”
3. Zubayra Shemseden, Uyghur Human Rights Project, “Challenges of Language Transmission Among Uyghur Children Living Abroad”
4. Irade Kashgary, Ana Care and Education, USA, “Preserving a Mother Tongue: Experiences of an Uyghur Language School in America”

I wish I was there…

Uyghur Groups

The WUC-UNPO  Human Rights Advocacy Training Seminar happened. WUC tweeted throughout it: 1, Rebiya Kadeer, Joshua CastellinoAmnesty InternationalDay 2, Nury Turkel and Omer Kanat, WUC, Pemma Fox, Dolkun Isa & Abdulla Kokyar

Outside of Politics

The Smithsonian Night Markets in DC featured Uyghur food this year. Nice.

RFA’s second part on me came out and I realised I probably should have provided them with my own pictures but oh well. My poem was translated and I love it so much – the reading was the only part of the radio recording I listened to lol. Amazing. I received a lot of love from this one, especially from mums. What would we do without the mothers, honestly.

This travel article came out, calling Urumchi the “safest city in the world” because of all the security there. They really think that much security is a positive thing. Wow.

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