Uyghur Update: 20th-27th October

Wow, am I posting on time for once? Ha ha I have so much work to do but, you know, anything for the revolution amiright? Amarite?? AMRYT?? (I am suffering). This post also does not have much commentary on my part.

 

In the Uyghur Region

The glaciers in our mountains are melting at a rapid rate due to climate change. The article goes into which areas of the Uyghur region this will affect, and also touches on the drying up of the Karez systems.

It looks like more Uyghurs are going to be relocated (to “alleviate poverty”). Apparently a lot have already been moved to do non-farming jobs. Not sure what this might mean.

Is the new Silk Road beginning this year or is this normal trading?

UCA News picked up on the re-emergence of re-education camps. But in slightly more updated news: apparently even the elderly are being held there. The article mentions a guy who is 82 years old! Honestly wtf?

That actually reminds me of a message I received recently. I had shared this photo of a traditional clay potter in Kashgar. Apparently, there are only two people who continue this practice: the man in the photo and his cousin. The most recent photo of this man is here (August 2017):

22834673_10155157712174423_194730627_n

…with no beard. I suppose it could be a new fashion choice on his part, but considering how everything else is the same… sigh. I don’t get China’s policing of beards, seriously…

Apparently all of Rebiya Kadeer’s children in East Turkestan have now been arrested. A few of her children had been imprisoned before, but now it’s all of them… in fact, “more than thirty“.

Here’s just some pictures showing how the burning of “illegal items” has been going on for years and is not a recent phenomenon. Source.

Surveillance

More evidence of Chinese hackers targeting Uyghurs (as published on Lookout).

Speaking of technology, China is also building a voice recognition database to add to the facial, genetic, and fingerprint databases it has been collecting. This actually reminds me of an article from RFA a few months ago that required certain people to provide a recording of their voice (along with other recognition info) in order to get passports. Bloody hell.

This is a longer article looking at the social credit rating system being put in place in China. Big Brother meets big data indeed.

 

Activism and Opinion

Last month I shared this Amnesty International report about an Uyghur woman, Buzainafu Abudourexiti, who had been wrongfully imprisoned. There is now a petition to release her, which you can sign here. As of now it has over 1000 signatures.

A video from Australia of Shahrezad Ghayret speaking on Uyghur people at an event that appears to be in affiliation with Welcome to Australia. It’s nice to hear these sorts of stories at these sorts of events!

An article by Rukiye Turdush questioning how China continues to deny all their wrongdoings despite the mounting evidence and first-hand reports coming from the Uyghur community.

An article about how partnering up with China in counterterrorism efforts may seem like a good idea, but cannot be justified at the expense of the human rights abuses it has been imparting on Uyghurs in the name of “counterterrorism”.

 

International

A briefing on the human rights situation of the Uyghurs was held by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the US. The panel was held to discuss the curbs on religious freedoms in ET, forced repatriation and re-education, and a discussion on how the US and the international community can help the situation. The participants were as follows:

Panelists​

Alim Seytoff, Uyghur Service Director, Radio Free Asia
Rebiya Kadeer, President, World Uyghur Congress
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Contributing Writer, Foreign Policy
Sophie Richardson, China Director, Human Rights Watch

Moderator

Thomas Lum, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service

Opening Remarks

Rep. Randy Hultgren, Co-Chair, TLHRC
Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC

And you can read their statements if you go to the link provided above and scroll down to the “documents” section. (I believe this is where it was revealed that all of Rebiya Kadeer’s children have been imprisoned).

The Taipei Times have picked up on Enver Tohti’s story on organ harvesting and the radioactive regions left over from China’s nuclear testing in the Uyghur region.

An update on the BRI situation and a breakdown of how it may affect Australia? It briefly mentions “Xinjiang” and Tibet.

Some support for Ilham Tohti on his birthday from a mayor in Spain.

 

Uyghur Groups

I’m not sure who these people are, but I’ve seen this “plan” floating around Facebook. The website is called “Uyghur Yardem” (Uyghur Assistance) and the authors of this post are Abduqadir Islam, Abduweli Ayup, Aytursun Osmanowa, Ekber Qurban, Eqide Tursun, Erkin Dölet, Exmetjan Qadir, Lutpulla Köktürk. Apparently they want all the Uyghurs in the world to donate 1% of their earnings to the Uyghur cause (presumably to a chapter of this organisation in every region) and construct an “Uyghur House” in each of these regions. They explain it more (along with visual aids!) so you can check it out here in Latin, Arabic, and Cyrillic scripts.

More information on the Uyghur Friendship Group that was launched recently.

 

Outside of Politics

Forbes released an article about how Uyghur soccer players were some of the best in China, but China may not be willing to accept an international Uyghur football star. I know Uyghurs are obsessed with football and are good at it, but I didn’t realise to what extent:

The Uighur ethnic minority is a Turkic Muslim people who come from the western Xinjiang province. In the small capital of Urumqi, the No. 5 Middle School is the country’s best youth team. It won the Youth Campus Football Championship from 2012, when it started, for four years straight until 2015, when they stopped running the competition. The mostly Uighur team from one of China’s poorest regions consistently bested teams from rich academies like Shanghai Xu Genbao Academy and professional clubs like Guangzhou Evergrande.

Like, wow, damn.

Currently, five Xinjiang athletes play in the Chinese Super League, the most popular of which being Mirahmetjan Muzepper, the first Uighur called up to the Chinese national team. His public portrayal is lousy with ethnic stereotypes.

“I see echoes of common condescending viewpoints of ethnic minorities in the narrative of his skills and talents,” says Carrico. “There are common stereotypes: they eat more meat. They’re stronger. They’re better at sports.”

lol yeah, I’ve heard that before. Anyway, here’s an older article looking at Uyghurs and soccer for anyone interested.

 

A new documentary will be released next year titled “The Voiceless Echo”. It speaks about the Russian Red Army massacre of Uyghurs in Turkistan (Kazakhstan) in 1918. Locals call this tragedy “Atu” (“Shooting”). The film was produced by “COSMO TRAVEL KZ” and “RIAD CREATIVE GROUP” in Kazakhstan. Sounds pretty interesting? I had never heard of this event before so it will likely be quite enlightening. Looking forward to it.

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