The vigil was held to remember all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience who sacrificed their freedom and lives to promote and protect the human rights of those living under the Chinese Communist Party's regime in East Turkestan, Tibet and across China. The vigil was organized by Chinese Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK, a coalition of organizations and activists of which Tibet Society is a founding member. At the start of the vigil, organizers were informed by police that they would not be allowed onto Embassy property to deliver a giant postcard addressed to the Chinese Ambassador.
East Turkestan & the Uyghurs
Reports from Tianshan, the Xinjiang government’s news service, indicate that 16 people died during an incident in Xinjiang late Sunday night. According to the report, Chinese police were in Shufu County, in the Kashgar region, seeking to apprehend unnamed criminal suspects. The police force was then attacked by rioters throwing homemade explosives and wielding machetes.
In this paper I focus on the historical and contemporary context and conception of Uyghur names and places in translation under the Manchu Qing dynasty, Chinese Nationalists and Chinese communist rulers of the region in the last two centuries. More recently this has combined with the current so called ''Bilingual education'' policies that have unofficially abandonned Uyghur language instruction in Uyghur education to produce a real threat to Uyghur identity and sense of ownership over this territory. It is useful to remind ourselves that similar procedures and methods were applied by the British and Russian empires during their vast colonial exapnsion over the last three centuries, and it is now aggressively copied and implemented by China in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. I ask whether the Chinese state can ultimately achieve its Sinification of Uyghur geographical place names, or whether Uyghurs will be able to preserve the Uyghur language names that currently co-exist with the Chinese names in the Uyghur region.
In The Silk Road of Pop, a documentary about Xinjiang’s modern music scene released earlier this year, the Uyghur hip-hop band Six City raps catchy tunes with an addictive enthusiasm. They live in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, a city that in 2009 endured violent riots in which nearly 200 people, both Han Chinese and Uyghurs, perished.
It was a hot day in the summer of 1995, when two of our chief surgeons told me to fully prepare the mobile surgery equipment and wait for them the next day at the hospital gate with an ambulance and three other assistants at 9 AM. So I did. The next morning, I saw our two chief surgeons appearing around 9AM in a car. They told me to follow them, so we did. About 30-40 minutes later we arrived to Western Mountain (西山, Xishan), an execution ground. It was quite famous; we had all heard of it but never been there before. We had been told to wait behind a hill, and come into the field as soon as we’d hear the gun shot. So we waited. A moment later there were gun shots. Not one, but many. We rushed into the field. An armed police officer approached us and told me where to go. He led us closer, then pointed to a corpse, saying ‘this is the one’.
At least 16 people have been killed in riots near the Silk Road city of Kashgar in the latest deadly violence in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang, state media reported on Monday. Fourteen "terrorists" and two police officers died in the "violent" clashes in Kashgar's Konasheher (in Chinese, Shufu) county on Sunday, the reports said, as the authorities stepped up security in the area. Two people have been detained and an investigation has been launched after a "violent terror gang" attacked police with explosives as they tried to apprehend a "criminal" suspects, according to the reports. The identities of the victims could not be immediately confirmed.
This week, China unveiled 96 km-long (60 miles-long) expressway in Xinjiang, the poor but resource-rich Western province that is home to China’s restive Uighur minority. In October, three people from Xinjiang intentionally crashed a car in Tiananmen Square, killing themselves and two tourists, and Beijing has been conducting harsh crackdowns on the region for years. The four-lane Wucaiwan-Dahuangshan expressway is part of an expensive campaign by Beijing to soothe discontent in the region, but is seen by some critics as an “economic band-aid“ (pdf) for the region’s bigger social problems. “The completion of the highway…will play a significant role in the development of the local economy,” state-media People’s Daily reported (link in Chinese).
Chinese authorities have started carrying out stricter ideological education among ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang and Tibet regions this month and detained those who are not obedient to what they call programs aimed at teaching a more modern way of living, people familiar with the situation said Thursday. A copy of a notice regarding education issued by authorities of Hotan in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region obtained by Kyodo News demands Muslim women not wear head scarves. The notice, dated Dec. 4 and written in the Uyghur language, asks Muslim women to dress in a modern way and says they will have to take reeducation if they do not comply with the request. It also warns that a serious violator of the order will be subject to criminal charges.
Beijing — An explosion on Friday killed 21 workers at a coal mine in China's western Xinjiang province, reports said. The blast occurred at the Baiyanggou coal mine at 1:26am (1756 GMT Thursday), the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the local regional emergency response office. According to the report, 34 miners were working underground at the time of the explosion. Twelve workers managed to escape but 22 were trapped by the blast. Only one of the trapped miners survived the explosion. Mining accidents are common in China, which is the world's largest consumer of coal and where mine operators often skirt safety regulations. In 2012, 1,384 people were killed in coal mining accidents in the country, according to official figures, down from 1,973 in 2011. Some rights groups argue that the actual figure is significantly higher due to underreporting by mining companies.
Urumqi, China - Police regularly patrol the streets of almost every significant town in China's troubled Xinjiang province. China's far west remains among its most unstable regions, with frequent clashes between ethnic Uighurs and the government, which is dominated by Han Chinese. The most recent incident occurred in the town of Serikbuya in Bachu County. "On the 16th of November, at around five o'clock, nine people attacked the police station and killed two auxiliary officers and injured another two police officers," Zhang Zeqiang, the head of the Kashgar government's media and propaganda office, told Al Jazeera. All the attackers were killed, he said, and the situation in the town is now "under control". Many residents of Xinjiang province have gotten used to the sporadic fighting, especially after a wave of ethnic violence in 2009 left almost 200 people dead and more than 1,500 injured.