Category Archives: Human rights

RFA: Uyghur Brothers Perish While Detained in Xinjiang


A pair of Uyghur brothers who had both been held in the same internment camp in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture, in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), have died in detention, according to sources.

Idris Qunduz, 53, and his younger brother, 45-year-old Hezim Qunduz, died in December 2018 and in June this year of unspecified causes, the head of their home village in Yengisheher (Shule) county’s Ermudun township recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service.

“Idris Qunduz died last year in December,” the Communist Party secretary of Ermudun’s No. 1 village said, when asked who under his jurisdiction had perished in the XUAR’s vast network of internment camps, where authorities are believed to have held more than 1.5 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” since April 2017.

“[He died] in a prison in Urumqi, but I don’t know which one,” the party secretary said, noting that he had first been held in Yengisheher county’s Chengan Camp and later transferred to the facility in the regional capital.

Idris Qunduz had a brother, “Hezim Qunduz … [who] died in [the Chengan] internment camp,” he said.

When asked what the cause of their deaths was, the party secretary said he was unsure.

“The authorities didn’t reveal the reasons of the deaths … we were simply told that they became ill and died,” he said, adding that he had visited with their families to convey the news.

Their bodies were not returned to their families, he added.

The party secretary said that Idris Qunduz was a farmer and his wife is a homemaker, but did not provide about Hezim Qunduz’s profession.

While the party secretary told RFA that there are two internment camps in Yengisheher county, he did not say why Idris Qunduz had been sent to a prison in Urumqi, or why the brothers were detained in the first place.

Details about the deaths of people detained in internment camps are typically held back, even from officials in their home villages, he said, and if the bodies of those who have died are returned to their families, relatives are warned not to divulge any information to the public.

The majority of bodies are never returned to their loved ones, he added.

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Uyghur News (Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019)

Most links listed below can also be found at: http://uyghuremergency.org/

[*] UN Chief Should Denounce China’s Abuses in Xinjiang
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/17/un-chief-should-denounce-chinas-abuses-xinjiang

[*] Experts raise human rights violations by china in Tibet Xinjiang and Hongkong
https://www.aninews.in/news/world/europe/experts-raise-human-rights-violations-by-china-in-tibet-xinjiang-and-hong-kong20190917193116/

[*] Washington Post: Uighur professor in China is missing and in danger
https://www.omaha.com/opinion/washington-post-uighur-professor-in-china-is-missing-and-in/article_ffa105d8-3bbd-585f-a064-78c6a49a22bb.html

[*] Uyghur Businessman Remains Jailed Eight Months After ‘Terrorism’ Conviction Reversed on Appeal
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/appeal-09172019145104.html

[*] Rights groups urge UN chief over Uighurs
https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6392068/rights-groups-urge-un-chief-over-uighurs/?cs=7579

[*] US to confront China on Uyghur issue at UN gathering
https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/492347

[*] Rights Groups Urge UN Chief to Condemn China Over Treatment of Muslims
https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/rights-groups-urge-un-chief-condemn-china-over-treatment-muslims

[*] Europe’s Largest Human Rights Conference Begins: Daily Brief
https://www.hrw.org/the-day-in-human-rights/2019/09/16

[*] As China sway grows, U.S. to confront it on Uighur issue at U.N.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-un/as-china-sway-grows-us-to-confront-it-on-uighur-issue-at-un-gathering-idUSKBN1W301V

RFA: China Uses High-Tech to Monitor Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Religious Freedoms Group Says

High-tech surveillance systems set up in China in the name of preventing extremism and crime are also targeting religious groups and houses of worship, especially in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), a U.S. bipartisan commission said in a report released on Monday.

Cameras now closely monitor attendance at mosques in Xinjiang, leaving many ethnic Uyghurs afraid to attend prayer services, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in its Sept. 2019 report, Religious Freedom in China’s High-Tech Surveillance State.

As many as 967 mosques in one southern Xinjiang county alone are now held under constant watch, USCIRF said.

Facial recognition systems programmed to distinguish skin tone and face shapes have also been deployed throughout the region, with Chinese police even outside Xinjiang starting to use the technology “to identify and target” Uyghurs, USCIRF said.

DNA samples and other biometric data including fingerprints, voice recordings, and blood samples are also taken from Xinjiang residents ages 12 to 65, with data collected both in police stations and in the vast network of reeducation camps in which as many as two million Uyghurs are believed to have been held, USCIRF said.

“Authorities have sometimes employed coercion to obtain DNA samples,” the religious freedoms group said.

Mobile phones, too, are fitted with required software that record data on the users’ movements and communications and reveal content to Chinese authorities, USCIRF said.

“In major urban areas, police use checkpoints—erected every few hundred yards—to scan phones, interrogate commuters, and conduct other security checks,” with 36 categories of persons singled out for particular scrutiny.

These include persons preaching Islam without permission, following banned religious teachers, or raising funds for mosques, USCIRF said.

One app, called Fengcai, allows Chinese guards to check the phone content of travelers entering from countries bordering Xinjiang, with a list of items to be watched for including audio recordings of recitations from the Quran and other expressions of “mainstream and nonviolent religious practice,” USCIRF said.

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Uyghur News (Sunday, Sep 15, 2019)

Most links listed below can also be found at: http://uyghuremergency.org/

[*] A Uighur professor vanished and may be executed. Yet China expects respect
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/a-uighur-professor-vanished-and-may-be-executed-yet-china-expects-respect/2019/09/14/8455d5fe-d4d2-11e9-9610-fb56c5522e1c_story.html

[*] Busy with Kashmir, Pakistan’s issues, don’t know about Chinese Muslims: Imran Khan
https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/busy-with-kashmir-pakistan-s-issues-don-t-know-about-chinese-muslims-imran-khan-1599340-2019-09-15

[*] Rights Group Calls for the Release of Uighur Children Detained in Xinjiang
https://time.com/5678136/human-rights-watch-children-xinjiang/

[*] Is It the Beginning of the End of Human Suffering in Xinjiang?
https://bitterwinter.org/is-it-the-end-of-human-suffering-in-xinjiang/

[*] So called media abundance still leaves blind spots with our neighbors
https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/so-called-media-abundance-still-leaves-blind-spots-our-neighbours

[*] China: Xinjiang Children Separated from Families
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/15/china-xinjiang-children-separated-families

SMHRIC: Southern Mongolia Watch — Writer sentenced for “national separatism” and “illegal business”


Writer sentenced for “national separatism” and “illegal business”

SMHRIC
Sept 15, 2019
New York

Mr. Lhamjab A. Borjgin, a Southern (Inner) Mongolian historian and author of the book China’s Cultural Revolution (Ulaan Huvisgalin Mongolian), was sentenced to one year in prison with a two-year reprieve for “national separatism” and “illegal business,” according to a court decision by the Shiliin-hot People’s Court.

Dated July 3, 2019, the court’s decision states that “the defendant Lhamjab published 2,000 copies of the China’s Cultural Revolution without an approved book number and made some profit. In addition to a certain number of copies that he voluntarily turned in, 836 copies have been confiscated. The whereabouts of the remaining copies are still unclear.”

“During a carefully investigation,” the court’s decision continues, “the court found that this illegally published book, China’s Cultural Revolution, has contents of national separatism, and the author’s act already constitutes a crime of illegal business.”

“In accordance with Article 225 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, the court has decided as follows: Defendant Lhamjab is sentenced to one year in prison with a two-year reprieve. The prison term shall take effect on the date the actual criminal imprisonment starts. The number of days of prior detention, if any, shall be deducted from the prison term. Additionally, the defendant is subject to a fine of 2,000 RMB (approximately USD 300),” the court paper stated.

On August 26, 2019, a court order entitled the Notice of Community Correction was served to Lhamjab, detailing the restrictions imposed during the suspension of imprisonment.

In addition to a number of restrictions to mobility, the notice states that Lhamjab has “no right to vote, no right to be elected,” and is “not allowed to organize or attend any gathering, protest, demonstration and assembly; not allowed to publish and distribute any print materials and multimedia products; not allowed to receive interviews and not allowed to speak in public; not allowed to be involved in any speech, at home and abroad, undermining the reputation of the state and harming the national interest and society.”

“I am under house arrest, and all my contacts were taken away. I am not allowed to go anywhere, and I’m required to come to the Public Security Bureau in person daily to report my status. A weekly written statement is required to detail my status,” Lhamjab said, in an audio statement he managed to send out through a friend.

“Like the Monkey King of the classic Chinese story who was given a headband for his uncontrollability, I am given a Communist ring for my head. My right to move and right to think are taken away by the Chinese authorities,” Lhamjab joked in the statement.

In 2006, after 20 years of research and interviews, Lhamjab completed his book China’s Cultural Revolution. The book compiles oral testimonies of survivors of China’s state-sponsored large-scale genocide campaign in Southern Mongolia during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In the book, Lhamjab documents detailed accounts of torture techniques and the gruesome nature of this genocide campaign that according to official statistics from the Chinese Government, claimed the lives of at least 27,900 people and imprisoned and tortured 346,000. For credibility and verification, the book includes phone numbers and other contact information of the survivors he interviewed.

Lhamjab published the China’s Cultural Revolution through underground publishers at his own expense, as all state-run Chinese publishing houses refused to publish it. The book became popular among Mongolians not only in Southern Mongolia, but also in the independent country of Mongolia. Subsequently, it was republished in Southern Mongolia and even published in Cyrillic Mongolian Scripts in Mongolia. Since last year, an abridged audio version of the book has gone viral among Mongolians through Chinese social media, in particular, on WeChat.
As the book attracted more readers, the Chinese authorities acted promptly to confiscate the copies of the book and started to harass the author. Starting July 11, 2018, Lhamjab has been placed under “residential surveillance”, a form of house arrest, by the local Public Security Bureau. PEN America stated in a press release that “detention of Southern Mongolian author is putting historical inquiry on trial.”


Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC)

68-37 108th Street,6A
Forest Hills, NY 11375
U.S.A.

Uyghur News (Friday, Sep 13, 2019)

Most links listed below can also be found at: http://uyghuremergency.org/

[*] Videos show how China has installed facial recognition scanners in Uighur mosques
https://observers.france24.com/en/20190913-videos-show-how-china-has-installed-facial-recognition-scanners-uighur-mosques

[*] China Will Rein in Hong Kong Through Its Economy
https://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-will-rein-hong-kong-through-its-economy-80581

[*] Two major milestones in Uyghur advocacy
https://www.jww.org/blog/uyghur-advocacy-milestones/

[*] US Senate passes bipartisan Uighur act against China
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-senate-passes-bipartisan-uighur-act-against-china/1579874

[*] How Maine’s members of Congress voted
https://www.pressherald.com/2019/09/13/how-maines-members-of-congress-voted-48/

[*] US Senate presses action on Uighurs
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/us-senate-presses-action-on-uighurs/news-story/43d1dbf4533f2015e4766d93aa9d1bbb

[*] US Senate urges action over Uighurs
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2019/09/14/2003722280

[*] Pompeo: China and Russia have ‘morally reprehensible’ hypocrisy on human rights
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/pompeo-china-and-russia-have-morally-reprehensible-hypocrisy-on-human-rights

[*] Chinese Propaganda Paints Hong Kong as a Spoiled Brat
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/09/12/chinese-propaganda-paints-hong-kong-as-a-spoiled-brat/

Uyghur News (Thursday, Sep 12, 2019)

Most links listed below can also be found at: http://uyghuremergency.org/

[*] US Senate Passes Legislation to Hold China Accountable for Rights Abuses in Xinjiang
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/act-09122019132709.html

[*] Reports of China’s Repression in Xinjiang ‘100 Percent True’: Jordanian Journalist
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/reports-09122019172439.html

[*] US Senate passes bipartisan Uighur act against China
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-senate-passes-bipartisan-uighur-act-against-china/1579874

[*] China Detains Dozens in Xinjiang For Sharing Songs From Kazakhstan
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/songs-09122019114851.html

[*] Senate Passes Bill Condemning China’s Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang
https://www.theepochtimes.com/senate-passes-bill-condemning-chinas-human-rights-abuses-in-xinjiang_3079455.html

[*] US Senate passes Uygur Human Rights Policy Act calling for sanctions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang camps
https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-passes-uygur-human-rights-133953703.html

[*] Uyghurs, US Senate approves bill against Beijing’s abuses
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Uyghurs,-US-Senate-approves-bill-against-Beijing’s-abuses-47994.html

[*]China Releases Award-Winning Photographer Lu Guang Who Documented Nation’s Dark Side
https://www.voanews.com/press-freedom/china-releases-award-winning-photographer-lu-guang-who-documented-nations-dark-side

[*] The Emblematic Case of Dr. Gulshan Abbas One Year Later
https://bitterwinter.org/the-case-of-dr-gulshan-abbas-one-year-later/

[*] China secretly abducted a university president on a trip through Germany and convicted him in a sham trial. Two years on, he may be executed.
https://www.businessinsider.com/china-secretly-abducted-a-university-president-and-may-execute-him-2019-9

[*] US Senate presses action on China’s treatment of Uighurs
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/us-senate-presses-action-on-china-s-treatment-of-uighurs-11900760

Uyghur News (Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019)

Most links listed below can also be found at: http://uyghuremergency.org/

[*] Fear and oppression in Xinjiang: China’s war on Uighur culture
https://www.ft.com/content/48508182-d426-11e9-8367-807ebd53ab77

[*] Kazakhstan: After Xinjiang, the long road to recovery
https://eurasianet.org/kazakhstan-after-xinjiang-the-long-road-to-recovery

[*] Influential US scientist under fire for Xinjiang links
https://codastory.com/authoritarian-tech/influential-us-scientist-under-fire-xinjiang-links/

[*] China’s White Paper on Xinjiang ahead of UNHRC session has few takers
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/chinas-white-paper-on-xinjiang-ahead-of-unhrc-session-has-few-takers/articleshow/71084161.cms

[*] Jewish World Watch Rallies for Uighurs
https://jewishjournal.com/news/los_angeles/community/304288/jewish-world-watch-rallies-for-uighurs/

[*] US Senate passes bipartisan Uighur act against China
https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/us-senate-passes-bipartisan-uighur-act-against-china-3500468

Uyghur News (Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019)

Most links listed below can also be found at: http://uyghuremergency.org/

[*] Han Teachers in Xinjiang: Save Uyghur Children!
https://bitterwinter.org/han-teachers-in-xinjiang-save-uyghur-children/

[*] Former Xinjiang University President at Risk of ‘Imminent’ Execution: Amnesty International
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/execution-09102019175637.html

[*] China: Muslim Concentration Camps Built to ‘Save the People’
https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2019/09/10/china-muslim-concentration-camps-built-to-save-the-people/

[*] Australia and the great Huawei debate: risks, transparency and trust
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australia-and-the-great-huawei-debate-risks-transparency-and-trust/

[*] Bridges opens up foreign policy divide on China
https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/09/11/800145/simon-bridges-opens-up-a-foreign-policy-divide-on-china

[*] East Turkestan: Chinese Government Hacks Telecommunication Carriers to Track Uyghurs Travelling Overseas
https://unpo.org/article/21654

Uyghur News (Monday, Sep 9, 2019)

Most links listed below can also be found at: http://uyghuremergency.org/

[*] How China spins the Xinjiang story to the Chinese
https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2019/09/china-spins-xinjiang-story-chinese-190908094929075.html

[*] Uyghur Teacher Dies While Presumed Detained in Xinjiang Internment Camp
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/teacher-09092019162606.html

[*] Simon Bridges rejects claim he met with China’s head of ‘secret police’
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/09/simon-bridges-rejects-claim-he-met-with-china-s-head-of-secret-police.html

[*] Uighurs targeted in iPhone attack
https://www.defenceweb.co.za/cyber-defence/uighurs-targeted-in-iphone-attack/