Uyghur: Reclaiming Our Story – exhibition looks beyond the oppression

Photographer Sam Biddle engages with members of the Uyghur diaspora who are reclaiming their identity and broadening the public’s perception, from the singular narrative of persecution to include the thousands of years of rich Uyghur history and culture. The exhibition starts on 11 March in Coburg, Victoria

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Governor of China’s Xinjiang region cancels UK visit after backlash

Foreign Office says officials would have been prepared to meet with Erkin Tuniyaz to raise human rights concerns

The governor of China’s western region of Xinjiang will not be visiting Britain this week, according to the UK Foreign Office, after a backlash from MPs over alleged human rights abuses in the region.

British officials had said if Erkin Tuniyaz visited this week, they would have been prepared to meet with him to raise concern over the human rights situation in Xinjiang. But those plans faced backlash from politicians who highlighted human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in the region.

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Iain Duncan Smith accuses Xinjiang governor of ‘murder’ at Uyghur protest

Demonstrators gathered in Westminster after reports Erkin Tuniyaz was to meet UK officials

Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Chinese governor of Xinjiang of murder as he joined Uyghur activists protesting against his reported visit to Britain.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on Monday after it emerged that Erkin Tuniyaz, the chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, could meet UK officials, a scenario Duncan Smith branded “unacceptable”. Tuniyaz was expected to come to the UK this week, according to the reports, with some speculating he has already arrived.

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Cross-party MPs shocked by Foreign Office talks with Xinjiang governor

Exclusive: Erkin Tuniyaz ‘played central role’ in persecution of Uyghurs, says inter-parliamentary alliance on China

The Foreign Office has shocked cross-party opponents of the Chinese treatment of Uyghur groups by revealing that it has asked the Xinjiang governor for talks.

MPs belonging to the inter-parliamentary alliance on China (Ipac) called it “incomprehensible” that “anybody within government would think it appropriate to meet with someone who has played a central role in the persecution of Uyghurs – crimes our own parliament has declared to be genocide”.

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Canada votes to take in 10,000 Uyghur refugees amid Chinese pressure to force their return

Move shows ‘what is happening to the Uyghurs is unacceptable’, says MP after non-binding parliamentary ballot with prime minister’s support

Canada’s parliament has unanimously passed a motion to take in 10,000 Uyghur refugees who fled China, but are now facing pressure to return.

The vote on Wednesday builds on a February 2021 move by Canadian lawmakers to label Beijing’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in its north-western Xinjiang territory as genocide.

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World Uyghur Congress loses legal challenge against UK authorities

WUC claimed UK unlawfully failed or refused to investigate cotton imports from Xinjiang

The World Uyghur Congress has said it is disappointed to have lost a legal challenge against UK authorities for not launching a criminal investigation into the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province but would continue to fight for accountability.

The WUC took the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), to the high court, claiming an unlawful failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps used to detain Uyghurs and people from other Muslim minorities.

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Chinese security firm advertises ethnicity recognition technology while facing UK ban

Campaigners concerned that ‘same racist technology used to repress Uyghurs is being marketed in Britain’

A Chinese security camera company has been advertising ethnicity recognition features to British and other European customers, even while it faces a ban on UK operations over allegations of involvement in ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang.

In a brochure published on its website, Hikvision advertised a range of features that it said it could provide in collaboration with the UK startup FaiceTech.

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Covid lockdown protests break out in western China after deadly fire

Protesters in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, blame restrictions for death toll of 10 in apartment block fire

Protests have broken out in China’s far western Xinjiang region, with crowds shouting at hazmat-suited guards after a deadly fire triggered anger over their prolonged Covid-19 lockdown as nationwide infections set another record.

Crowds chanted “End the lockdown,” pumping their fists in the air as they walked down a street, according to videos circulated on Chinese social media on Friday night. Reuters verified the footage was published from the Xinjiang capital, Urumqi.

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Major funds exposed to companies allegedly engaged in Uyghur repression in China

Report finds stock indexes provided by MSCI include companies using forced labour or constructing surveillance state in Xinjiang

Many of the world’s largest asset managers and state pension funds are passively investing in companies that have allegedly engaged in the repression of Uyghur Muslims in China, according to a new report.

The report, by UK-based group Hong Kong Watch and the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, found that three major stock indexes provided by MSCI include at least 13 companies that have allegedly used forced labour or been involved in the construction of the surveillance state in China’s Xinjiang region.

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Spyware targets Uyghurs by ‘masquerading’ as Android apps – report

Researchers say spyware is connected to a Chinese government-backed hacking group

Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a spyware campaign that is targeting Uyghurs by “masquerading” as Android apps including messaging services, prayer time apps and dictionaries, according to a new report by the cloud security firm Lookout.

The spyware, which researchers say is connected to a Chinese government-backed hacking group, can be used to track people who use services that may be considered a “pre-crime” or are seen by China as indications that someone is engaging in or will engage in religious extremist or separatist activities. “Pre-crime” activities include using a virtual private network (VPN) or sharing any kind of religious content and can lead to being detained in a re-education camp.

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Failure to investigate UK imports linked to forced Uyghur labour unlawful, court told

World Uyghur Forum brings high court challenge against government agencies over Xinjiang cotton imports

UK government agencies have broken the law by not investigating the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced Uyghur labourers in China, the high court has heard.

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is challenging the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), claiming a failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps, was unlawful.

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China using influencers to whitewash human rights abuses, report finds

Social media videos by people from the Uyghur community are part of a sophisticated propaganda campaign, thinktank says

The Chinese Communist party is using social media influencers from troubled regions like Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia to whitewash human rights abuses through an increasingly sophisticated propaganda campaign, a report has claimed.

The report published on Thursday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), described the videos by “frontier influencers” as a growing part of Beijing’s “propaganda arsenal”.

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West weighs calling for China Uyghur abuses inquiry at UN

Battle over influence at Human Rights Council, with Beijing warning of ‘politicisation of human rights’

Western powers are weighing the risk of a potential defeat if they table a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council calling for an independent commission to investigate alleged human rights abuses by China in Xinjiang.

The issue is a litmus case for Chinese influence at the UN, as well as the willingness of the UN to endorse a worldview that protects individual rights from authoritarian states.

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‘Our people are still trapped’: Uyghur exiles demand action on abuses

Campaigners criticise failure of UN report to label China’s crackdown on Muslim minorities genocide

“I feel like my house is on fire, it’s burning down and my children, my family is trapped inside,” said Zumrat Dawut via video link. “I scream and scream for the world to come, and help me put out the fire, but at times I feel like no one is coming to our rescue.”

Last Wednesday, as Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, finished her term and released a long-awaited report on abuses in Xinjiang, Dawut was protesting alongside other Uyghur exiles in Washington DC.

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