When China imposed trade sanctions on Norway in 2010 for honouring the imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo with the Nobel peace prize, it spat out a word we weren’t used to hearing from propagandists for an atheist communist regime, but should get used to today. “It’s a blasphemy,” a party mouthpiece said.
Once, blasphemy was damning the faithful’s gods and sacred books. Now, criticism of the world’s largest dictatorship has become sacrilegious. You shouldn’t be surprised. As some of us tried to say in the 1990s and 2000s, the gap between the sacred and the profane was never as wide as religious sentimentalists and liberal multiculturalists believed.… Seguir leyendo »
Large red X’s smeared across the doors of each home. Transformers ripped from their sockets. A lone child’s tricycle, abandoned in the street.
It was around 10:30 one night in the fall of 2018 when I fumbled around the darkness of Kashgar’s historic Yarbeshi neighborhood, famous for being the last authentic holdout of traditional Kashgari culture. Locals and recent travel blogs had both assured me that, although guards blocked foreigners’ entry to Yarbeshi during the day, I would find a vibrant night market if I snuck in after 10 p.m. Instead, I was confronted by evidence of a mass disappearance.
A stone’s throw away, a festive night market was in full swing in a re-creation of Kashgar’s historic district — where the Uighur culture on display was cheap, bubbly and state-approved.… Seguir leyendo »
Arsenal star Mesut Özil tends to cause controversy on and off the pitch. That is why he should be applauded for speaking out about the plight of Uighurs in China and helping to raise awareness of one of the worst human rights atrocities of the modern era.
Özil posted to his millions of followers on social media on Friday about the persecution of Uighurs, condemning silence from Muslims on the issue. Özil is a Muslim who won the World Cup with the German national team before quitting international football amid claims of “racism and disrespect” over his Turkish heritage.
He is right to speak out.… Seguir leyendo »
Sometime after he disappeared in 2017, Tashpolat Tiyip, a Uyghur leader, Communist Party member and the president of Xinjiang University, was reportedly sentenced to death in a secret trial
Apart from a leaked government film that accused him of ethnic «separatism,» the Chinese state has provided no explanation for the geography professor’s detention. Like hundreds of other Uyghur intellectuals, the government has made him disappear.
Tiyip was given a two-year suspended death sentence in September 2017. And as that deadline nears, Amnesty International has issued a statement warning that his execution may be imminent. More than 1,000 scholars from around the world have signed a petition from the American Association of Geographers asking the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping to stay Tiyip’s execution and release him.… Seguir leyendo »
Many people around the world may just now be learning that around a million Uighur Muslims and other minorities have been locked up in extrajudicial internment camps in the region of Xinjiang, in western China. There is a reason for that: Xinjiang is remote and the Chinese government has expended considerable effort to keep the news hidden, from harassing foreign journalists to seizing family members of activists to censoring information within its own borders.
Herbert Diess, however, should have no excuse.
Mr. Diess is the chief executive of Volkswagen, which opened a plant in Xinjiang in 2013 that employs almost 700 local workers and can make up to 50,000 cars a year.… Seguir leyendo »
In the video Op-Ed below, three Chinese citizens whose parents disappeared demand their release from China’s “re-education camps.” The government is estimated to have detained over one million people. The goal: to force China’s Uighur ethnic minority to assimilate.
China’s decades-long campaign against the Uighur minority has surged in recent years through the construction of hundreds of detention camps. Even outside of detention centers, millions of Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region live in a virtual prison. The surveillance state deploys sophisticated technology, including facial recognition tracking, compulsory apps that monitor mobile phones, and even DNA collection.
China has justified its actions as a fight against religious extremism within the predominantly Muslim ethnic minority.… Seguir leyendo »
The Chinese government’s campaign of internment in the northwestern region of Xinjiang is extraordinary, by dint of its scale — but also, its contradictions.
Up to 1.5 million people from predominantly Muslim Turkic minorities — Uighurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz — have been arbitrarily detained in political re-education camps designed in part to make them renounce their religious beliefs.
At times, the Chinese authorities have portrayed this mass detention campaign as a “strict preventative measure” against violent extremist ideologies. At others, they have called it a benign “vocational training” initiative, comparing detainees to “boarding school students.”
But eyewitnesses — as well as the government’s own documents — reveal that these facilities are prisonlike internment camps that rely on intensive brainwashing procedures and forms of psychological torture.… Seguir leyendo »
One of the darkest episodes of the 20th century was the gulag — the Soviet system of forced labor camps where dissidents were imprisoned in terrible conditions, often to perish. The camps were established by Lenin, expanded by Stalin and finally exposed to the world by the great Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, with his 1973 masterpiece, “The Gulag Archipelago.”
“Thin strands of human lives stretch from island to island of Archipelago,” he wrote, and “it is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold, and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides.”
Today, Russia’s gulags are long gone, as is the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that operated them.… Seguir leyendo »
China ha creado una amplia red de centros extrajudiciales de confinamiento en la región occidental de Xinjiang, donde se obliga a los uigures y otras minorías musulmanas a renunciar a su cultura y religión, y se les somete a la fuerza a un régimen de reeducación política. Después de mucho tiempo de negar la existencia de este tipo de campos, el gobierno ahora ha decidido referirse a ellos como centros inofensivos de capacitación donde se imparten clases de Derecho, mandarín y destrezas vocacionales, una designación que bien se sabe es un eufemismo falso que emplean con la intención de evitar críticas por los tremendos abusos cometidos en contra de los derechos humanos.… Seguir leyendo »
China has built a vast network of extrajudicial internment camps in the western region of Xinjiang, where Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are made to renounce their culture and religion, and are forcibly subjected to political indoctrination. After long denying the camps’ existence, the government now calls them benign training centers that teach law, Mandarin and vocational skills — a claim that has been exposed as a disingenuous euphemism and an attempt to deflect criticism for gross human rights abuses.
But the camps, especially their ambition to rewire people, reveal a familiar logic that has long defined the Chinese state’s relationship with its public: a paternalistic approach that pathologizes deviant thought and behavior, and then tries to forcefully transform them.… Seguir leyendo »
“Citizens, please remain calm and relax, no one in the re-education camps will starve, be left in the cold, be punished or be forced to work.” With these words, an official from China’s Communist Youth League tried to reassure relatives and friends of members of predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities who had been taken to internment centers. The detainees were “infected by an ideological illness,” the official said, and the camps would “cleanse the virus from their brain.”
When the speech was delivered in October 2017, the camps were unknown even to some of the people they targeted, the roughly 11 million ethnic Uighurs and one million Kazakhs of Xinjiang, a nominally autonomous region in northwestern China.… Seguir leyendo »