The U.S. Embassies in Vienna and Prague invited Rushan Abbas, the director of Campaign for Uyghurs, to raise awareness for the current Uyghur crisis in these countries. Ms. Abbas spoke about the dire situation of Uighurs in East Turkistan where more than a million Uighur and other Muslims arbitrarily detained in internment camps. She also talked about how the Chinese government detained her older sister, medical doctor Gulshan Abbas, to silence her and her activism work. Ms. Abbas stressed that she will continue her activism work and speak about the Uighur crisis everywhere she can despite the Chinese government’s effort to silence her.
A U.S. citizen said Chinese police released his mother from an internment camp after 15 months so she could try to silence his criticisms of the country’s human rights abuses, only for her to be sent back to detention the next day. Ferkat Jawdat’s mother is one of at least 1 million Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities who are being held in “concentration camps” in the China-occupied East Turkestan. These camps run “political re-education” programs and there have been reports of torture, sexual abuse and death. Xinjiang residents beyond camp walls are subjected to inescapable surveillance and monitoring. But the latest move highlights the apparent lengths Chinese officials will go to in trying to quash criticism from its diaspora around the world. And as the trade war with the U.S. heats up, it also illustrates how Beijing’s tense relationship with Washington differs uniquely from other countries, and the dramatic impact this has on individual families.
After the crackdown on student protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, many Chinese students studying in the U.S. were fearful of returning home as authorities continued to arrest supporters of the uprising. Uighurs abroad now have a similar response today when they are asked what would happen to them if they went back home. The Chinese government has been accused of detaining between 800,000 and 2 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities with as part of a sweeping system of suppression across East Turkestan since 2017. Detained Uighurs are held in “re-education camps” that the Vice President of USA, Mike Pence, called a “deliberate attempt by Beijing to strangle Uyghur culture and stamp out the Muslim faith.”
Shawudun Abdughupur, born Yerken county in East Turkestan, is now a New Zealand citizen. He is a former technician of ‘Xinjiang’ TV station and came to New Zealand 10 years ago. His mother Tursungul Kasim (77 years old), 3 brothers and their families (includes a handicap girl) were arrested and their whereabouts unknown.
He started his testimonies and other activities since March 2018 and received many different kinds of threats from China after that. He officially reported the threats to police in New Zealand in Mar,2019, but still feel unsafe, even though he lives in New Zealand.
Uighur Charity Concert “Toronto 2019”
The East Turkestan Association of Canada and Noor Cultural Centre are co-organizing a concert titled: “Endangered Culture: An Evening of Uyghur Dance & Music”. The purpose of this cultural event is to experience and celebrate Uyghur performance arts, and to fundraise for schooling/other necessities for displaced Uighur children. The concert will be help on June 8th, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
The Uighurs – a Turkic people who predominantly live in the China-occupied East Turkestan – have unique music and dance traditions dating back thousands of years. As documented by recent media and human rights reports, the Uyghurs are experiencing large-scale persecution that threatens the people and this rich cultural legacy.
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