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Uyghur News Recap: February 3-9, 2022

A protester holds a placard as she takes part in a small demonstration against the holding of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China, at Piccadilly Circus in London, Feb. 3, 2022.

Here is a summary of Uyghur-related news around the world in the past week.

Uyghur Olympic torchbearer in 2008 calls for boycott

In 2008, Kamalturk Yalqun carried the Olympic torch in Beijing, representing his 12 million-member Uyghur community from Xinjiang. Now in 2022, he is in the United States and has become an activist, calling for a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games over China’s mistreatment Uyghurs, including imprisoning his father, Yalqun Rozi, a renowned Uyghur textbook editor.

US lawmakers urge State Department to help Uyghurs, Kazakhs

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China urged the U.S. State Department to help Uyghurs and Kazakhs facing deportation from countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan to China.

UN, China accused of colluding

The South China Morning Post reported that leaked documents hint that the United Nations colluded with China in fabricating a “mutually convenient stalemate” to U.N. criticism of China’s treatment of Uyghurs.

Turkish Olympian uses the East Turkistan independence flag

Duringthe Beijing Games, a Turkish athlete, Fatih Arda Ipcioglu, was hailed by rights activists for raising awareness for Uyghur rights in China. He used a pair of skis with the blue crescent moon and star flag that Uyghurs use as a symbol of their short-lived independence of Xinjiang in the last century, which they call East Turkistan.

China has Uyghur Olympian light the cauldron at Games

The New York Times reported that Beijing’s choice of a 20-year-old female Uyghur cross-country skier to light the Olympic cauldron was seen by rights activists and critics of Beijing as an attempt to whitewash its suppression of Uyghurs.

Twitter accounts flood #GenocideGames hashtag

The Wall Street Journal reported that pro-China Twitter accounts had flooded the hashtag #GenocideGames on the platform in an effort to weaken it as criticism of China’s mistreatment of Uyghurs.

Proctor and Gamble silent on Uyghur issue

Fox News reported that as an official sponsor of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games, Proctor and Gamble is silent on China’s human rights violations of Uyghurs in order not to lose profit in China, even though it has called out “systemic racism” in the United States.

China’s UN envoy defends Uyghur torchbearer

Reuters reported that China’s ambassador to U.N. defended his country’s selection of a Uyghur athlete as one of the two last torchbearers of the Winter Games after his U.S. counterpart at the U.N., U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said in an interview with CNN that China is using a Uyghur athlete to distract attention from country’s abuses toward the group.

News in brief

Radio Free Asia reported that Harris Mowbray, a U.S. college student, and a group of Uyghur researchers created a Braille alphabet for visually impaired Uyghurs. “I hope this Uyghur Braille script is used widely,” Mowbray told RFA. “Through this script, visually impaired people will be able to read, write, study and even write emails.”

Quote of note

“It seems to me that our sense of global citizenship and sportsmanship is not moving forward with these Olympic Games anymore.”

-- Kamalturk Yalqun, Uyghur who carried the Olympic torch in Beijing for the 2008 Games.