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Uyghur News Recap: August 12–19, 2022


FILE - A man holds a sign during a rally to show support for Uyghurs and their fight for human rights, in Hong Kong, Dec. 22, 2019.

Here's a summary of Uyghur-related news around the world.

Chinese official: Uyghurs who violate COVID-19 lockdown to face detention

A Chinese government official told Radio Free Asia that Uyghurs who violated COVID-19 lockdown policy in Xinjiang would face up to three weeks of "re-education," a common euphemism for detention.

Hong Kong students face persecution over Uyghur solidarity assembly

Two students in Hong Kong pleaded not guilty to the charge of rioting during a Uyghur solidarity assembly in 2019. But one of the students pleaded guilty of assaulting a police officer and the other pleaded guilty of aiding an offender, according to Hong Kong Freedom Press.

H&M back on major Chinese e-commerce platform 16 months after Uyghur controversy

When Swedish fashion retailer H&M said 16 months ago that it would not source cotton from Xinjiang because of forced labor allegations, Chinese consumers began boycotting the brand, leading to the closure of its flagship brick-and-mortar store in Shanghai and its online store on Alibaba's Tmall e-commerce platform. According to Chinese netizens, H&M's online store returned to Tmall Tuesday.

Lawyers for Uyghurs file case against China, alleging genocide

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, lawyers for Uyghur exile groups filed a criminal complaint Wednesday alleging Chinese officials committed genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

In brief

Tomoya Obokata, U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, said in a recent report on forms of slavery affecting ethnic, religious and linguistic minority communities that some instances of forced labor in Xinjiang and Tibet "may amount to enslavement" and merit further independent investigation. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin dismissed Obokata, saying he had chosen to "abuse his authority, blatantly violate the code of conduct of the special procedure [and] malignly smear and denigrate" China.

Quote of note

"Further, given the nature and extent of powers exercised over affected workers during forced labor, including excessive surveillance, abusive living and working conditions, restriction of movement through internment, threats, physical and/or sexual violence and other inhuman or degrading treatment, some instances may amount to enslavement as a crime against humanity, meriting a further independent analysis."

Tomoya Obokata, U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, in his U.N. report.

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