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Uyghur News Recap: May 26–June 2, 2023 

FILE - A Uyghur flag is held high on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House during a protest against the Chinese Communist Party, Oct. 1, 2022.
FILE - A Uyghur flag is held high on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House during a protest against the Chinese Communist Party, Oct. 1, 2022.

Here's a summary of Uyghur-related news from around the world this week:

Amnesty International Corrects Report on Uyghur Student's Alleged Disappearance

Amnesty International has issued a correction to its report on the alleged disappearance of a Uyghur student at a Hong Kong airport. The organization clarified that Abuduwaili Abudureheman, the student in question, contacted the rights organization to say he did not travel to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government has called for an apology from Amnesty.

Rights Group: China's Exit Bans Trap Uyghurs, Creating Family Separation and Disruption

A recent report by the Madrid-based human rights group Safeguard Defenders sheds light on China’s escalating use, since 2016, of exit bans. The report says the bans are vague and are issued without legal justification, trapping Uyghurs within their homeland. The bans, justified by China on the ground of national security, are enforced through a complex web of laws and interpretations.

Uyghur Christians Establish World Uyghur Christian Union in London

A group of Uyghur Christians launched the World Uyghur Christian Union (WUCU) in London. In defiance of the prevailing notion that Uyghurs must strictly adhere to Islam, the group’s mission is to share the Christian faith with fellow Uyghurs using evidence from archeology and research to show how Christianity has been woven into the fabric of the Uyghur people’s history.

News in brief

China Withdraws From International Art, Culture Showcase Over Xinjiang Camp Exhibition

China's withdrawal from the Venice Biennale, an international art and culture exhibition in Italy, because of concerns over an exhibition highlighting the internment camps in Xinjiang has sparked controversy. The Chinese Embassy objects to the Killing Architects - Investigating Xinjiang's Network of Detention Camps exhibition, claiming it deviates from the truth.

Led by architect Alison Killing, the exhibition utilizes satellite imagery and interviews to shed light on China's mistreatment of Uyghurs. Despite Beijing’s withdrawal, the exhibition remains open. This incident follows China's previous protests against Italy's artistic events, including exhibition cancellations and objections to cultural performances. Killing emphasized the accuracy of the reporting, which garnered the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2021.

Quote of note

"Throughout history, Uyghur Christians have faced persecution and oppression, yet by God's grace we have always emerged stronger and more resilient."

- Kerim Altay, chairperson, World Uyghur Christian Union