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Uyghur News Looked from All Over the World

Demonstrators from the Uyghur community near the Belgium parliament in Brussels, July 8, 2021. credit: VOA
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Asim Kashgarian | Voice of America

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at Uyghur-related news from around the world this week:

Groups file criminal complaints in Argentina over Beijing’s mistreatment of Uyghurs

Two Uyghur groups, based in the U.S. and Germany, filed an international criminal complaint with the Federal Criminal Court in Argentina, accusing China of committing genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim ethnic groups. These are accusations China has repeatedly denied.

US official​ cautions Taiwan could be Beijing’s next target after Uyghurs

Nury Turkel, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said at the 2022 Regional Religious Freedom Forum in Taipei on Tuesday that Taiwan should learn from Beijing’s treatment of the Muslim Uyghur minority community to understand what Beijing could do to Taiwan if the self-ruled island fails to protect itself from China.

UN report finds China committed serious human rights violations 

On the last day of her tenure, U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet released her long-anticipated assessment of conditions in Xinjiang, saying China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim groups may constitute crimes against humanity.

Uyghur groups’ reactions to UN’s Xinjiang report

More than 60 Uyghur organizations around the world urged the international community to take concrete action after a U.N. report found that China may have committed “crimes against humanity” against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim communities in Xinjiang, a region Uyghurs prefer to call East Turkistan.

Report: Chinese coal plant pays Uyghur workers less than Chinese workers 

An RFA investigative report found an Uyghur worker gets paid a monthly salary of 1,500 yuan (U.S. $217) while a Chinese worker gets around 5,000 yuan (U.S. $725) for the same work performed at a coal mine in northern Xinjiang.

News in brief

Gulbahar Haitiwaji, a 55-year-old Uyghur woman and survivor of an internment camp in Xinjiang, wrote a book titled How I Survived a Chinese ‘Reeducation’ Camp. VOA’s Mandarin Service recently sat down with Haitiwaji as she recounted the horrors of being in detention. A Xinjiang native, Haitiwaji moved to France with her family in 2006. In 2016, she said a phone call from a Chinese official asking her to return to China for administrative retirement procedures lured her back to Xinjiang. She then faced arrest. She said the charges against her varied, but the recurring theme was terrorism. For nearly three years, she said, she experienced interrogation, detention, and reeducation until her family and the French government helped with her release. China calls its facilities “vocational training and education centers” aimed at combating terrorism.

Quotes of note

“I couldn’t have a bowel movement for 10 days when I was tied to the bed when I was tied like a dog — and the first time I did it in front of people, I cried.” — Gulbahar Haitiwaji, Chinese detention survivor.

“We [were] like robots: getting up early every day, taking 11-hour classes, studying the curriculum set by the Chinese government — history, law, Chinese. … Every week we have to learn a red [Communist] song,” said Haitiwaji, recalling the names of the songs, including one called, “Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China.”

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