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Uyghur News Recap: Sept. 2–9, 2022  


FILE - Gerry Brownlee, then New Zealand's foreign minister, speaks during a press conference in Sydney, Australia, May 4, 2017.

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

Ex-New Zealand foreign minister criticized for comments about UN Uyghur report

Gerry Brownlee, a lawmaker for the center-right National Party of New Zealand and former foreign minister, drew criticism for his remarks about the U.N. report saying China committed human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Brownlee said that it was good that the report "acknowledges that there has been a terrorism problem" in Xinjiang, which is why China sends Uyghurs to what it calls reeducation camps.

Uyghur exiles urge UN to act on report findings

Since the U.N. released its report on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Uyghur exiles are asking that the U.N. hold China accountable and take concrete action, such as passing resolutions for an immediate and independent investigation into the oppression of Muslim minorities in the autonomous territory in northwest China.

Activists demand Canada stop imports of goods made by Uyghur forced labor

Uyghur rights groups in Canada asked the Canadian government to take action after a U.N. report found China committed human rights violations against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The rights organizations are pushing for Canada to block imports linked to Uyghur forced labor in China. The Canadian Parliament called China's treatment of Uyghurs genocide, but Uyghur advocates are concerned that the government has not "officially" announced it as genocide.

New Android spyware suspected of targeting Uyghur community

Cybersecurity experts at MalwareHunterTeam found new Android spyware with data-gathering capabilities that appears to be targeting the Uyghur community. It's disguised as a book called The China Freedom Trap by Dolkun Isa, president of World Uyghur Congress. The malware can steal SMS messages, contacts and logs and take pictures from the infected device.

China has 'closed door of cooperation,' Chinese UN ambassador says

The Chinese ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva said Friday that his country would not cooperate with the U.N. human rights office following the release of a report on China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim populations in Xinjiang. The report and comments followed a visit to China by then-U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. She had discussed follow-up meetings with Beijing, which China has now shelved.

In brief

— The Uyghur Human Rights Project found that some U.S. supermarkets and online stores continue to sell red dates linked to Uyghur forced labor from Xinjiang even after the U.S. passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which bans imports from Xinjiang unless businesses can prove that a product is not connected to forced labor. The stores and distributors mentioned in the report did not respond to inquiries by its authors.

Quote of note

"U.S. companies have not fully mapped out their supply chains, which makes it difficult for CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] to identify and trace goods made with Uyghur forced labor. Many products may be exported from mainland China or by intermediary suppliers outside of China that seem to have no links to the XPCC [The Xinjiang Construction and Production Corps] or even the Uyghur region."

— Nuzigum Setiwaldi, author of a Uyghur Human Rights Project report that found that despite U.S. law, some U.S. retailers continue to sell red dates grown and processed in Xinjiang

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