Jul 06

Chinese Uyghurs defy Ramadan ban

20147474717323734_20The government’s attempt to clamp down on religious expression has backfired among Uyghurs.

Kashgar, China - Chinese authorities have imposed restrictions on Uyghur Muslims during the month of Ramadan, banning government employees and school children from fasting, in what rights groups say has become an annual attempt at systematically erasing the region’s Islamic identity. 

Chinese authorities have justified the ban on fasting by saying it is meant to protect the health of students, and restrictions on religious practices by government officials are meant to ensure the state does not support any particular faith. Continue reading

Jul 04

Beijing Steps Up Security Ahead of Urumqi Riot Anniversary

kkkkjjjAuthorities in the restive northwestern region of Xinjiang and the Chinese capital have stepped up security measures ahead of the fifth anniversary of deadly ethnic riots in the regional capital Urumqi, with a visible increase in the number of armed police on the streets, residents said.

“The whole city is on a security drive, and the number of personnel and vehicles doing patrols has clearly increased,” an Urumqi resident surnamed Zhang told RFA on Thursday. Continue reading

Jun 30

China Steps Up ‘Anti-Terrorism’ Measures Targeting Ramadan

2bfd3af1-e475-4f32-b1a8-f501045a05b5Chinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang have ordered mosques frequented by mostly Muslim ethnic minority Uyghurs to use the holy month of Ramadan to publicize Beijing’s anti-terrorism campaign, according to an exile Uyghur group.

The municipal government in the regional capital Urumqi has ordered mosques to “propagandize” China’s anti-terrorism policies on the eve of the beginning of Ramadan on Saturday, and just ahead of the fifth anniversary of deadly ethnic riots that left nearly 200 people dead in 2009, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) told RFA. Continue reading

Jun 29

Police Officer Stabbed to Death, Another Wounded in East Turkistan Attack

lllllllllllllAn ethnic minority Uyghur suspect stabbed a police officer to death and seriously wounded another in northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang region after he was allegedly tortured during interrogations, local police said.   

The attack occurred at the Ishkul township police station in Yarkand (in Chinese, Shache) county in Kashgar prefecture last Friday, police officers at the station told RFA’s Uyghur Service. Continue reading

Jun 29

Uyghur Mother Detained For Public Outcry Over Missing Son

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhAn outspoken ethnic minority Uyghur mother has been detained for nearly one month for “incitement” after raising a public outcry in the capital of northwestern China’s Xinjiang region over the long-running case of her missing son, according to a local source.

Patigul Ghulam was taken into custody by police officers on May 27, just five days after a deadly attack on a market in the East Turkistan ( so-called Xinjiang ) capital Urumqi which authorities blamed on separatists, a neighbor told RFA’s Uyghur Service over the weekend, citing the woman’s daughter. Continue reading

Jun 28

Uyghur Scholar’s Case Heading For Trial, Not There Yet: Lawyer

ilhamtChinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang have transferred the case against jailed ethnic minority Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti to the state prosecutor’s office, paving the way for a trial, according to his lawyer.

Lawyer Li Fangping said he was notified about the development by the police department in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi. Continue reading

Jun 25

Five Police Officers Killed in Attack on Xinjiang Security Checkpoint

sjasFive police officers have been killed in a pre-dawn attack on a security checkpoint in China’s restive far-western region of Xinjiang after government officials harassed ethnic minority Muslim women wearing headscarves and men with beards, according to police and residents.

Unknown assailants on Friday stabbed two police officers guarding the checkpoint in Qaraqash (in Chinese, Moyu) county in southwestern Hotan prefecture and then set fire to a room in the building where three police officers were taking a nap, police said. Continue reading