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Uyghur News Recap: March 17-23, 2022 

FILE - A woman wears a face mask reading "Free Uyghurs" as she attends a protest during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Berlin, Sept. 1, 2020.

UK lawmakers consider ban on health-care supplies made in Xinjiang

The British Parliament is considering legislation that would ban the National Health Service’s procurement of goods made in Xinjiang, where there’s a “serious risk of genocide” and forced labor. The amendment to a bill passed in the House of Lords with cross-party support and is expected to be debated in the Commons later this month.

US to restrict visas for Chinese officials involved in repression of Uyghurs

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday that the administration of President Joe Biden would restrict visas for unnamed Chinese officials responsible for repressive acts against members of ethnic and religious minority groups in China and abroad. He also called on Beijing to "end its ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity" in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. China called the allegations “lies.”

Uyghur wife of Turkish citizen sentenced to 20 years in prison

RFA reported a Uyghur woman in China was detained and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Xinjiang for marrying a Turkish citizen and speaking to then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Top Beijing official says all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live happily

Ahead of the U.N. human rights chief’s visit next month, Wang Yang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and head of the Chinese Communist Party’s Xinjiang affairs group, said during a visit to Xinjiang from March 18 to 22 that “we must forge the material foundation of long-term political stability and refute smearing and slandering by enemy forces with the fact that all ethnic groups live happily.” Some analysts said Wang's tour signaled a shift in China’s Xinjiang policy from regional security to economic development.

News in brief

— A group of Chinese students at Cornell University walked out of an on-campus event hosted by the school’s Institute for Public Affairs featuring U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Michigan. The students were angered when Uyghur student Rizwangul NurMuhammad asked the lawmaker why the international community seemed more concerned about Russia's invasion of Ukraine than China's genocide of the Uyghur people. The Chinese international students, who were equally incensed by what they later described as Slotkin’s “sinophobic” and “American-exceptionalist” response, jeered as they walked out, according to participants. The group later signed a letter saying the event felt hostile toward Chinese students.

Quote of note

"Uyghurs in [the] diaspora like myself have also been impacted by this genocide. I, for example, have lost my brother to this genocide that China has waged against Uyghurs," Rizwangul NurMuhammad told VOA. "He has been imprisoned for over five years and is being punished for a crime that he didn't commit."