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Uyghur Recap: November 4-11

FILE - Police stand at the entrance of the Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Urumqi No. 3 is China's largest detention center and has room for at least 10,000 inmates.

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

Chinese tech firms remove Uyghur, Tibetan languages on platforms

Language app Talkmate and video streaming website Bilibili took Uyghur and Tibetan languages off their sites while keeping Chinese and other foreign languages

Legal complaint filed over complaints related to forced labor

The human rights organization World Uyghur Congress took legal action against U.K. authorities for importing cotton products from the region in China where Beijing has been accused of using predominantly Uyghur forced labor.

ICC asked to investigate Bejing’s activities in Tajikistan

Uyghur activists are trying for third time to persuade the ICC to investigate China’s activities abroad. Beijing is accused of attempting to deport Uyghurs back to China with Tajikistan’s help.

Uyghurs abroad traumatized by China crackdown, seek help

Traumatized by Beijing’s years-long repression against Uyghurs, including their own families, far-flung members of the Uyghur diaspora grapple with psychological disorders, seek help from therapists.

News in brief

— Uyghurs worldwide celebrated “Republic of East Turkistan National Day” on November 12, commemorating the Soviet-backed Turkic republic (1944-1949), located in what is now China’s Xinjiang region.

— Uyghur refugees around the world say they need support from countries like the U.S. in order to achieve secure living conditions. Both Uyghur asylum-seekers in the U.S. and refugees in other parts of the world, such as Turkey, say they need a more protected immigration status to feel safe.

— The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum released a report that finds “mass surveillance” of the Uyghurs in China has intensified. New information, according to the report, suggests in addition to forced assimilation, China is targeting Uyghur women’s ability to have children through forced sterilization and birth control. The museum asked for an “urgent independent investigation” into China’s treatment of the Muslim Uyghurs and other Turkic minority groups. Beijing has repeatedly denied human rights abuses against Uyghurs.

— For the last four years, Omar Faruh, a Uyghur living in Turkey, has not seen his two daughters in China, who are now 5 and 6. He is asking China to release his daughters’ passports and let them unite with him and his wife.

Quote of note

“I’ve really had a hard time as a father. If I didn't have faith, if I didn't believe in God, I would have committed suicide long ago. … I miss my girls so much. If there is another pain, one can bear it, but the pain of a [lost] child is a very difficult pain,” said Omar Faruh.

Looking ahead

A demonstration led by Muslim leaders is planned in the U.K. cities of London and Manchester on November 13, to protest China’s treatment of Uyghurs.