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Uyghur News Recap: January 6-12, 2022


FILE - People walk beneath a welcome message for Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime after its listing on the stock exchange in Hong Kong, Dec. 30, 2021.

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

Tech company raises millions

The Guardian reports that U.S. sanctions have had minimal impact on SenseTime, a Chinese facial recognition company that was able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from non-U.S. investors. Now on the Hong Kong stock exchange, the company is accused of the surveillance of Uyghurs.

Uyghur teacher of Islam gets prison term

Radio Free Asia confirmed from Chinese officials that a Uyghur woman who disappeared more than four years ago was taken by police and sentenced to 14 years in prison for teaching Islam to children and hiding two copies of the Quran.

Skater speaks of Chinese abuses

USA Today reported that U.S. pairs skater Timothy LeDuc described the treatment of Uyghurs in China as “horrifying human rights abuses” weeks ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. LeDuc said there are also violations of human rights in the U.S.

Uyghur memoir to be published

A memoir by Gulbahar Haitiwaji, a Uyghur who was detained in a Chinese reeducation camp for three years in Xinjiang, will be published in English in February during the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Asylum-seekers still waiting

Roughly 800 Uyghurs in the U.S. are caught in a backlog of the U.S. asylum system that goes back years.

Intel deletes forced labor reference

Reuters reported that U.S. chipmaker Intel deleted any reference to not using labor or resources from Xinjiang in a letter to suppliers after Chinese social media slammed the company’s letter published on its website. Human rights groups and many Western countries accuse China of human rights abuses against the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, which China has denied.

Embassy Twitter account still locked

An official Twitter account of the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. remains locked more than a year after a tweet about birth rates in the Xinjiang region and Uyghurs, which the social media company said violated the company’s “policy against dehumanization.”

News in brief

— A retired Uyghur government post office worker died weeks after being released from an internment camp. Ghiyasidin Abla, 69, from southern Xinjiang in China, was held for more than three years on suspicion of religious extremism for growing a beard and attending a religious ceremony, according to RFA.

Quote of note

“Whatever you think of the way we are governed in Britain, and the West, we are hugely fortunate to live in a free society. The Uyghurs in China aren’t so lucky. One of the world’s superpowers is using a variety of tactics, including the latest DNA technology and a covert network of remote jails, to wipe an entire culture off the face of the Earth.” — Martin Hickman, Canbury Press, publisher of a Uyghur memoir, How I Survived A Chinese ‘Re-education’ Camp.

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