I call it my Chinese Communist Party Human Rights Award.
Today at China Digital Times, "dark days" for Hong Kong media, Uyghurs defy Ramadan ban in Xinjiang, author Murong Xuecun asks to be arrested, and the young Xi Jinping’s resemblance to Korean star Kim Soo-hyun. Read on.
Photo of the Day: Sunset Beach, Dalian by ravi chahal
In today’s China news, more “tigers” are netted, over 100 people are sentenced with terror-related charges in Xinjiang, and Hong Kongers rally against Beijing’s encroachment. Read this and more at China Digital Times.
Photo of the Day: Untitled (Chongqing) by faungg’s photo
Tonight Jewher Ilham will be accepting the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom To Write Award for her father, Ilham Tohti. Tohti was arrested in January and charged with “separatism” for his attempts to bridge ethnic divides through his writing.
You can reader Jewher Ilham’s account of his arrest in her Op-Ed for the New York Times here: http://nyti.ms/RlXfsu
Read more about Ilham Tohti from China Digital Times.
It is my belief that I will not be doing a service to my ethnic group and my country unless I remain a scholar—a ‘clean’ one at that —and use my free time to help others and serve the public interest.
Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was detained in January and later charged with separatism. In a biographical essay written in 2011 and recently translated by China Change, he explains that he has purposefully limited contact with Western organizations, precisely to avoid such accusations. Read on.
维族 砍人 (Uyghurs stab people / wéi zú kǎn rén): Though China has officially recognized fifty-six native ethnic groups, all of which have an array of unique concerns and issues, the two most “problematic” for state officials are the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the Tibetans in Tibet, regions where unrest has broken out in recent years. A mix of ethnic tensions, desires for independence or greater autonomy, and increasing income inequality make these particularly volatile regions, especially as more Han Chinese migrate to Xinjiang and Tibet. Government officials have responded by investing heavily in the regions’ infrastructures and social welfare systems in a sort of effort to buy peace and acquiescence in these border provinces.
Despite these investments, Uyghurs face continued discrimination and economic hardship in the region. There have been a number of collective responses by Uyghurs, including protests and demonstrations, some of which have been violent and some of which have been branded as terrorism. Notable violent events in Xinjiang that have been blamed by authorities on Uyghur sepratists include a 2008 attack on a police station, and attacks in 2011 (in both Kashgar and Hotan) and 2013 featuring knife-wielding terrorists.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.
Uyghurs may face heightened discrimination from the government and ordinary people now that the Jeep crash in Tiananmen Square has been labelled a “terrorist attack” by “Uyghur extremists.” Read more about the crash, Uyghurs, and Xinjiang at China Digital Times.