Protesting Mongolian herders expelled from Beijing

Mon, 12/09/2013 - 11:26 -- Anonymous (not verified)
17 herders from Urad Middle Banner in front of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing in November 2013 (SMHRIC photo)

On November 30, 2013, 17 Mongolian herders from western Southern (Inner) Mongolia’s Urad Middle Banner (“wu la te zhong qi” in Chinese) were expelled from Beijing. They had spent the previous 12 days submitting appeals to Central Government authorities, attempting to solicit support from the Chinese State Council Letter and Visitation Bureau and the Ministry of Agriculture to restrain local government officials and Chinese miners from illegally occupying their grazing lands. Dispatches from the local Urad Middle Banner government and the Public Security authorities carried out the expulsion of the protesting herders from Beijing. The herders are currently confined to their communities and barred from communications with higher government authorities. According to written communications received by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), the herders are protesting: 1. illegal land expropriation and land sale by local government officials to the Chinese; 2. destruction of the herders’ grazing land by Chinese miners and military bases; 3. the government’s failure to provide adequate redress and compensation to the affected herders.

Uyghur Farmer Wages Uphill Battle Over Land Grab

Thu, 12/05/2013 - 19:40 -- Kanat

An ethnic Uyghur farmer in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region has been fighting a seven-year battle for justice over the seizure of his land that led to his home being flattened to make way for a building project while he was locked up in detention. His case is one of many land grabs exacerbating tensions in Xinjiang, where ethnic minority Uyghurs accuse Han Chinese of displacing them from their traditional homeland and depriving them of economic opportunities under strict Beijing rule.

China’s Uyghur question as a strategic pit

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:10 -- Anonymous (not verified)

The recent Tiananmen incident that led to the death of five people once again revived the debate on the Xinjiang/Uyghur question. The Uyghur issue not only exposes deficiencies in human rights and fundamental liberties in China but also appears as a hurdle for China’s two most pronounced strategic imperatives, namely “building a harmonious society” and the “peaceful rise of China.” PRC’s reaction to the recent incident and its pattern of handling crises of ethnic tension are increasingly dragging China into a strategic pit, which gets deeper with every instance of ethnic violence related to Tibet or Xinjiang. Beijing’s reluctance to acknowledge the root causes of minority discontent leads the PRC to “resolve problems in its own way” by using force, instilling fear in society, marginalizing minorities, and radicalizing dissent groups.

Uyghur Scholar Takes Aim at College Graduation Ban

Wed, 11/27/2013 - 14:18 -- Anonymous (not verified)

A top ethnic minority Uyghur scholar and activist has hit out at moves to ban college students in China's troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang from graduating unless they pass a test of political views, saying that the policy is "dangerous" and "ridiculous." "The Xinjiang authorities are in the process of doing something very dangerous," Uyghur university professor Ilham Tohti, a vocal critic of China’s policies toward ethnic minority Uyghurs, said in response to official media reports from a regional education conference.


Mon, 11/25/2013 - 13:39 -- Anonymous (not verified)
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Beijing has alleged that the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” which purportedly has links with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida as well as many other Central and West Asian terrorist organisations is waging a “holy war with the aim of setting up a theocratic ‘Islamic state’ in Xinjiang.” While this allegation leveled against the Uyghur community is indeed damning, Beijing has unfortunately failed to provide even a shred of credible evidence to support its claim.

Chinese anti-veil “beauty” campaign sows ugly tensions

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 10:15 -- Kanat

A Chinese government worker in the ancient Silk Road oasis of Kashgar beckons two women to her street side stand and logs their details under the gaze of a surveillance camera. Their offence: wearing veils. The "Project Beauty" campaign aims to discourage women from covering their faces - a religious practice for some Muslim Uighurs, the largest ethnic group in China's Xinjiang region - in an attempt to improve security.

‘Chinese Police Deployed Unarmed Uyghurs to Halt Attack’

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 10:14 -- Kanat

Chinese authorities posted unarmed Uyghur auxiliary policemen at the frontline of an attack on a police station in Xinjiang which left three of them dead before a SWAT team gunned down the assailants, witnesses and family members of the deceased said Friday. The authorities had said that nine ethnic Uyghur youths, armed with knives and sickles, were shot dead while storming the Siriqbuya (in Chinese, Selibuya) police station in Kashgar prefecture’s Maralbeshi (Bachu) county last week in a possible suicide mission.

Audio recording attributes Tiananmen crash to Uyghur armed group

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 10:12 -- Kanat

An audio recording attributing the fatal crash in China’s Tiananmen Square last month to an ethnic Uyghur “jihadi” organization surfaced this weekend on a website that monitors armed groups. The recording, widely reported by international media, will be used by Beijing to justify its repression of the Muslim minority in the western region of Xinjiang and across the country, according to Uyghur affairs experts and rights activists.


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