NEWS BRIEFS ABOUT THE UYGHURS AND UYGHUR HOMELAND

 Torchlight Uyghur Group Reports


  About Uyghurs

  • Why is there tension between China and the Uighurs? – The Xinjiang autonomous region in China’s far west has had a long history of discord between the authorities and the indigenous ethnic Uighur population. The BBC sets out why. READ: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-26414014

  Week of 8 Jan to 14 Jan 2018:

  Week of 1 Jan to 7 Jan 2018:

  • Interview: ‘I Thought I Had Completed My Duty as a Father’ – Naman Bawdun, a Uyghur former head and Communist Party secretary of Awat township’s Bashawat village, in Bayin’gholin Mongol (in Chinese, Bayinguoleng Menggu) Autonomous Prefecture’s Korla (Kuerle) city, was one of only four residents of Xinjiang to have ever received China’s “Ethnic Unity Prize.” His wife, Patigul Dawut, was an active party member, while his daughter had a promising career as a police officer. But all of that ended in October, after authorities detained Dawut for allegedly “allowing others to preach religion” at her factory. Bawdun recently told Shohret Hoshur of RFA’s Uyghur Service about the difficulties his family has faced in recent months. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/father-01032018170607.html
  • Uyghur Inmates in Xinjiang’s Korla City Endure Overcrowded Re-Education Camps – Political re-education camp inmates in Korla (in Chinese, Kuerle) city, in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, endure cramped and squalid conditions in facilities where as many as 1,000 detainees are admitted every few days, according to a former official. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/camps-01032018155622.html

  Week of 25 Dec to 31 Dec 2017:

  • ‘I Just Left, Taking my Son With Me’ – Li Aijie, wife of jailed rights activist Zhang Haitao, a critic of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic group, landed with the couple’s young child in the United States on Dec. 23 after fleeing China via Thailand. She had been targeted for threats by local authorities after Zhang was handed a 19-year jail term by the Intermediate People’s Court in Urumqi, regional capital of the northwestern region of Xinjiang, on Jan. 15, 2016. She spoke to RFA’s Cantonese Service about her escape, and her plans for the future: READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/women/liaijie-12292017134959.html
  • Uyghur Biodata Collection in China – The state is collecting biometric data from the Uyghur population as part of a new identification card system. Along with DNA collection, they are creating a registry of fingerprints, blood types, voice patterns, facial imagery – all of which will be correlated to ethnicity, employment, gender, age, foreign travel history, household registration, individual and family criminal history, and religious practice. READ: https://thediplomat.com/2017/12/uyghur-biodata-collection-in-china/
  • Kazakhstan National Missing, Believed Detained in China, Amid Ongoing Crackdown – A former official in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang who became a citizen of Kazakhstan is missing, believed kidnapped amid an ongoing crackdown on ethnic minority groups with overseas ties, sources told RFA on Wednesday. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/kazakh-missing-12272017141959.html
  • China to Punish ‘Two-Faced’ Uyghur Officials in New Reward Scheme – Rewards provided by authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region to tipsters for outing would-be “terrorists” are also being offered to those reporting ethnic Uyghur officials and public figures suspected of “disloyalty” to Beijing, according to sources. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/rewards-12262017144824.html

  Week of 18 Dec to 24 Dec 2017:

  • Uighur militants in Syria look to Zionism as model for their homeland – ISTANBUL (AP) — It was mid-afternoon when the Chinese police officers barged into Ali’s house set against cotton fields outside the ancient Silk Road trading post of Kashgar. The Uighur farmer and his cowering parents watched them rummage through the house until they found two books in his bedroom — a Quran and a handbook on dealing with interrogations. READ: https://www.timesofisrael.com/uighur-militants-in-syria-look-to-zionism-as-model-for-their-homeland/
  • Historians Dismiss Chinese Claims to Xinjiang Based on Han Dynasty Literature – Recent government efforts to link northwest China’s majority Uyghur Xinjiang region to territorial claims associated with an ancient Chinese imperial dynasty “lack scientific standing” and are part of a bid by Beijing to legitimize repressive policies in the area, according to scholars. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/claims-12222017145043.html
  • Two Uyghur Students Die in China’s Custody Following Voluntary Return From Egypt – Two Uyghur students who were detained after voluntarily returning to northwest China’s Xinjiang region from Egypt this year amid a call by authorities for members of the ethnic group living abroad to travel home have died in police custody, according to sources. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/students-12212017141002.html
  • China Dangles Huge Payouts For Tips on ‘Terrorists’ in Largely Uyghur Hotan Prefecture – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have earmarked a substantial amount of cash to reward residents of Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) prefecture who report “acts of terrorism” in the predominantly ethnic Uyghur-inhabited area, according to official sources. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/tips-12202017172516.html
  • Tens of Thousands of Uyghurs Held in Chinese Reeducation Camps – Investigation – China has been sending thousands or even tens of thousands of Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic minority group living primarily in the western province of Xinjiang, to detention camps for political crimes like having extremist thoughts, according to a new investigation. READ: https://sputniknews.com/asia/201712191060117150-tens-thousands-uyghurs-reeducation-camps/
  • China Detains Kazakhs During ‘Unity Week’ in Troubled Xinjiang Region – Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have detained dozens of people for retweeting electronic greetings cards celebrating independence day in neighboring Kazakhstan, which marks its independence from the former Soviet Union on Dec. 16, RFA has learned. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/unity-12182017115834.html

  Week of 11 Dec to 17 Dec 2017:

  • China Collecting DNA From All Uyghurs in Xinjiang Under Guise of Free Physicals – Authorities are collecting DNA samples and other biometric data from all residents aged 12-65 of northwest China’s Xinjiang region, which is home to more than 11 million Muslim ethnic Uyghurs, under the pretext of a free health care program, a leading human rights group said Wednesday. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/dna-12132017172938.html
  • Nearly 10 Percent of Residents of a Xinjiang Township Detained by Chinese Authorities – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have detained nearly 10 percent of the population of a township in ethnic Uyghur-dominated Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture, according to sources, following an incident three years ago. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/detained-12142017140125.html
  • Uyghur Woman Dies of Condition Left Untreated in Chinese Police Detention – An ethnic Uyghur woman jailed for “attempting to flee the country” has died due to complications from a medical condition that was left untreated while in detention, according to her husband, who said that authorities illegally detained his wife after she applied for a passport. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/death-12122017164350.html

  Week of 04 Dec to 10 Dec 2017:

  • China Expands Recall of Passports to Uyghurs Outside of Xinjiang – Authorities in China have expanded a recall of passports from Uyghurs residing within the northwest region of Xinjiang to include members of the ethnic groups throughout the country, according to sources. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/passports-12082017152527.html
  • Uyghur Grape Merchants Suffer Losses Amid Party Congress Clampdown – Uyghur grape merchants in northwest China’s Xinjiang region suffered significant losses this year after heightened security measures amid a sensitive annual Communist Party Congress forced them to delay their harvest, according to sources. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/merchants-12072017150509.html
  • Is China’s Uyghur Challenge Changing Its Calculus on Syria? – China’s approach to the Middle East is often described as an aloof one, defined by the pursuit of narrow self-interest. Wu Bingbing, professor of Arabic studies at Peking University, has argued that China’s approach has been guided by the maxim that it should be “detached generally and involved appropriately.” READ: https://thediplomat.com/2017/12/is-chinas-uyghur-challenge-changing-its-calculus-on-syria/

  Week of 27 Nov to 03 Dec 2017:

  • Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Awarded ‘Prize For Freedom’ in The Hague – Jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was honored on Thursday at a ceremony in The Hague, where he was awarded Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom, given in absentia and accepted on his behalf by a rights group advocating for his release. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/awarded-11302017165248.html
  • Uyghur Asylum Seeker Detained in Dubai Feared Deported to China – An ethnic Uyghur asylum seeker who applied for protection through the United Nations’ refugee agency has been detained in Dubai, according to the man’s wife, who said she fears he may have been forcibly repatriated to China, where he could face imprisonment, torture, and other forms of punishment. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/dubai-11282017160655.html
  • China’s ‘three warfares’ in Xinjiang – There has been extensive analysis of China’s use of ‘three warfares’ — public opinion, psychological warfare and legal warfare — in the context of external issues like the South China Sea dispute and the Doklam standoff with India. But China has also deployed elements of the ‘three warfares’ to counter a primarily domestic security challenge: the threat of Uyghur militancy, radicalisation and terrorism in Xinjiang. 27 November 2017. READ: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2017/11/27/chinas-three-warfares-in-xinjiang/
  • Six Uyghurs Caught Escaping From a Thai Jail Could be Sent Back to China – Of 25 ethnic minority Uyghurs from China who broke out of a Thai immigration detention center after tunneling through an exterior wall this week, 19 have remained uncaught after police detained six during and after the daring escape. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/thailand-uyghurs-11232017172012.html

  Week of 13 Nov to 19 Nov 2017:

  • Thai Police Search for 20 Uyghurs Who Broke Out of Detention Facility – Thai authorities are looking for 20 Uyghurs who escaped from an immigration detention center near the Malaysian border before dawn on Monday by digging two holes and using blankets as ladders to escape, officials said. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/thailand-escape-11202017154942.html
  • Inside out: My visit to China’s Muslim majority Xinjiang province – China’s northwestern province, Xinjiang, has a bad reputation. For outside observers, it is unstable and violence-plagued, home to an estimated 23 million-strong Muslim Uighur minority struggling for its rights. But not everyone who lives here agrees with the definition. READ: https://www.geo.tv/latest/167939-inside-out-my-visit-to-chinas-xinjiang-province
  • UNPO Roundly Condemns Detention of Thirty Members of Uyghur Leader’s Family by Chinese Authorities – Around 30 relatives of Uyghur leader and prominent human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer have been arbitrarily detained by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan, soon after her participation in the launch of the Uyghur Friendship Group at the European Parliament. READ: http://unpo.org/article/20458
  • There’s more than one way to build a tree, 374m-year-old fossils reveal – In the world of knee-high land plants 400m years ago, the battle to grow tall was won by plants which found biomechanical solutions to fight gravity. Vascular plants had already evolved a plumbing system, allowing them to transport water, and the food produced by photosynthesis, around the plant. The water-conducting cells in the xylem – dead, hollow and stiffened by the polymer lignin – also afforded them some structural support. But there are limits to the height that a plant can grow with a stem of fixed girth. READ: https://amp.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/15/theres-more-than-one-way-to-build-a-tree-374m-year-old-fossils-reveal
  • On Thin Ice: Xinjiang Glacier Could Melt Away in 50 Years – As travelers make their way through scattered rocks and streams toward the mouth of Urumqi River, they may have a shrinking feeling as the enormous Urumqi Glacier No. 1 towers over them. But this giant is rapidly diminishing. Over the course of just a year, sections of the glacier receded more than six meters. READ: http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1001185/on-thin-ice-xinjiang-glacier-could-melt-away-in-50-years
  • Uyghur Exile Leadership Passes to ‘Younger Generation’ in Munich Election – Leadership of the exile World Uyghur Congress (WUC) passed to a new generation in an election held in Munich at the weekend, with former WUC general secretary Dolkun Isa voted in as president and long-serving leader Rebiya Kadeer elevated to the honorary post of paramount leader. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/election-11132017152921.html

  Week of 06 Nov to 12 Nov 2017:

  • Xinjiang Authorities Jail Uyghur ‘Religious Extremist’ For Scolding Son For Drinking – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang province have sentenced a 67-year-old ethnic Uyghur Muslim to 10 years in prison for “religious extremism,” more than a decade after he scolded his son for breaking Islamic custom by drinking alcohol, according to the man’s wife. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/drinking-11082017154732.html
  • Muslim clerics targeted in Xinjiang crackdown – Reports are emerging from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that imams who are not toeing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party line have been sent to political re-education camps, which have proliferated at a clipped pace over the past several months in the western area. READ: https://www.ucanews.com/news/muslim-clerics-targeted-in-xinjiang-crackdown/80650
  • New Guidelines on Uyghur ‘Signs of Extremism’ Issued to Xinjiang Authorities – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region are using an updated set of guidelines to detain Muslim Uyghurs on charges of religious “extremism” that now include their postures while at prayer, the color of their hair, and even how they wear their watches, according to official sources. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/guidelines-11072017153331.html
  • Families of Uyghur Police Officers Among Those Detained in Xinjiang’s Kashgar – Family members of ethnic Uyghur security personnel in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, who authorities had previously considered “off limits,” are among those now being detained as part of “stability” measures the officers have been tasked with enforcing, according to sources. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/families-11062017162834.html
  • First Cut Is the Deepest: Organ Harvesting in Xinjiang – Enver Tohti Bughda saw the man’s still-beating heart as he surgically removed the kidneys and liver for an organ transplant. He’s now paying the price, cut off from his family and banished from his home country, fated to recount the story for the rest of his life and atone for his actions. READ: https://international.thenewslens.com/article/82726

  Week of 30 Oct to 05 Nov 2017:

  • Xinjiang Residents Told to Hand Over ‘Two-Faced’ Officials – Authorities in northwestern China’s Xinjiang are urging citizens to turn in ethnic Uyghur workers in government and other public sectors suspected of disloyalty toward Chinese policies in the politically sensitive region, sources say. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/two-faced-11032017153427.html
  • China’s Mass Detention of Xinjiang’s Ethnic Minorities Shows No Sign of Let-up – Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang are continuing their wave of arrests of ethnic minority Kazakhs and Uyghurs, sources in the regional told RFA on Wednesday. A Kazakh source close to the police department in Xinjiang’s regional capital, Urumqi, said police are now being issued with quotas for the detention of the mostly Muslim Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs. READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/detention-11012017120255.html
  • “Uyghur Dutar King” detained in China – The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China is currently undergoing a major security crackdown, largely shielded from the outside world by tight controls on foreign media. Ostensibly aimed against “Islamic extremism”, the crackdown has targeted all aspects of daily religious life amongst the Muslim peoples of this region, as well as restricting freedom of expression, movement and association. Thousands of people have been detained in “rehabilitation centres” and many more arrested. READ: http://freemuse.org/news/uyghur-dutar-king-detained-china/
  • Uyghur Muslim clerics targeted in China crackdown – IImams not complying with the Communist Party’s religious regulations in the Xinjiang region have been sent to political re-education camps. Uigurs living in the far west of China. Turpan / MM / Flickr / CC 2.0Reports are emerging from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that imams who are not toeing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party line have been sent to political re-education camps, which have proliferated at a clipped pace over the past several months in the western area. And with the promotion of the region’s hard-line leader, Chen Quanguo, to the broader politburo during October’s Party Congress – a move which many rights monitors both predicted and feared – the crackdown on ethnic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang is likely to become worse.According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), Chen at the end of September ordered officials to crack down on imams that did not comply with the Party’s religious regulations in the run-up to the Party Congress. READ: https://international.la-croix.com/news/uyghur-muslim-clerics-targeted-in-china-crackdown/6231
  • ‘More Than 30’ Relatives of Uyghur Exile Leader Rebiya Kadeer Detained in Xinjiang – Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have detained more than 30 relatives of exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer in recent months, including two sons who were previously jailed on charges related to “secessionist activities” and “tax evasion,” she said Friday. Kadeer, president of the Munich-based exile World Uyghur Congress (WUC), told RFA’s Uyghur Service that she was unsure of the whereabouts of her family members, though they are likely to have been “sent to prison or the political re-education camps”—a vast network of which have been used since April to hold thousands of Uyghurs accused of harboring “extremist” and “politically incorrect” views. “Of my immediate relatives—including my children and grandchildren—altogether 11 have been detained,” the 70-year-old mother of 11 said. “But if I include the children of my brother and other relatives, more than 30 are being held,” ranging in age from 22 to 58. Kadeer said that while “many” of her distant relatives had been taken away by police, she never expected that authorities would arrest her children and grandchildren, “because they have been under virtual house arrest and 24/7 police surveillance since I came to the U.S.” READ: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/relatives-10272017164417.html

  Week of 23 Oct to 29 Oct 2017:

  • China’s ‘War on Terror’ Might Bring About a Real Terror Threat – BEIJING, China – In the beginning of the fall, the Chinese government resorted to repressive measures against Uighurs, the country’s Muslim minority. This group has been oppressed by the central Chinese authorities ever since the region was absorbed into Communist China in 1949. Lately, things have gotten worse for the 10 million Uighurs who currently inhabit the Xinjiang region in northwest China. Now they are prevented from traveling around the country, studying abroad or reading the Quran. READ: http://www.theglobepost.com/2017/10/26/china-war-on-uighurs-real-terror-threat/
  • During his first press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on 5 Oct. 2017, Guo Wengui said the following [1,1:34]: I have been a good friend with the former Vice-Minister of the China’s State Security Ministry, Mr. Ma Jian, for a long time, and he was also in charge of Xinjiang affairs. Therefore, he shared with me a great deal of classified information about the true situations in Xinjiang. All of the real situations happened in Xinjiang are much, much, much frightening than what the outside world, that is, the general Chinese public and the Western media know about the Uyghurs’ true situations. I will provide the US government with many facts so that the US government understands true situations of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang and the Tibetan people in Tibet. I truly believe that the information I provide will reveal the true faces of the lies spread by the country-selling criminals (i.e., corrupted top-level Chinese government officials). This is most important, because what the Chinese government has done to the Uyghur and the Tibetan people is against humanity, and thus nobody believes it. After that, the US government may change their policies on Tibet and Xinjiang. I believe the US government cannot rely only on negotiations with the Chinese government, instead needs to take real action. [1] Guo Wengui’s first press conference in Washington DC on 5 Oct 2017. WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T474kxzBvlU

  Week of 16 Oct to 22 Oct 2017:

  • Mr. Guo A New York-based property tycoon who has accused top Chinese officials of corruption. BBC described him as follows [2]: Mr Guo, who left China in 2014, has published a series of tweets and YouTube videos to allege corruption among top members of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, including Beijing’s anti-corruption czar, Wang Qishan. He has also released what he alleges are official state secrets ahead of a key Communist Party congress, which is held every five years and is scheduled to begin on 18 October. Exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengu seeks US asylum. READ: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41193000

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