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Uyghur Recap: October 28-November 3

FILE - A guard stands in a watchtower in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, May 3, 2021.
FILE - A guard stands in a watchtower in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, May 3, 2021.

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

Former PLA soldier to govern capital of Uyghur region

Yang Fasen, an anti-terrorism expert and a former member of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, takes on the new role as party chief of Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Tomato products linked to Uyghur forced labor

The world's biggest grocery store chains are stocked with tomato products that could be tied to Uyghur forced labor in Xinjiang, according to an investigation by CBC Marketplace, The Guardian and the Investigative Reporting Project Italy.

US blocks products from Chinese solar firm

Solar panel maker Longi Green Energy Technology Co. could be the next company to have products detained from a U.S. crackdown on Chinese-made products because of allegations of Uyghur human rights violations in China.

Uyghurs, Tibetans hit hard by COVID lockdowns

Residents of Ghulja are short of food after a COVID lockdown in the Xinjiang city that has lasted more than a month.

News in brief

—​ RFA reports two brothers of a Netherlands-based Uyghur, Ghopur Ebey, have been arrested by authorities in Xinjiang for contacting him during phone calls sanctioned by Chinese officials. A third brother, arrested in 2017, was detained for two years in an internment camp after a trip to Turkey.

— The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, a group of lawmakers focused on changing how democratic countries approach China, organized a meeting in Rome last week where the G-20 summit was held. Their meeting urged world leaders to take a tougher stance toward Beijing and stand up for people from Xinjiang to Taiwan, who they say are threatened by the policies of the Chinese government.

Soviet-Era Memories Shape European Lawmakers’ View of China and Taiwan

— Human rights activists are expressing surprise at the failure of Israel and Switzerland to participate in a joint statement criticizing China's treatment of its Uyghur minority. The two countries joined earlier statements on the same issue, but this time, a Switzerland foreign ministry spokesperson told VOA that his country decided not to join in the latest statement because of various factors, including an upcoming "strategic dialogue" with China. Israel did not respond to questions from VOA.

Why Israel and Switzerland Stayed Silent on Uyghur Human Rights in China

— Surrounded by a few hundred Uyghur, Tibetan and Hong Kong activists, NBA player Enes Kanter led a rally in front of Capitol Hill on Saturday, calling on China to stop Uyghur forced labor. The Turkish basketball player also urged the U.S. Congress to pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would limit importing goods from China that were produced with forced labor.

NBA Player Enes Kanter Leads Rally Against Uyghur Forced Labor

Quote of note

"We need action. Not just words. We have to make human rights a priority in both U.S. and foreign policies," said NBA player Enes Kanter. "Only then can we help stop the Uyghur genocide."

What are we watching next week?

The Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, a human rights organization, will hold its 7th General Assembly in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, November 10-12. The last General Assembly took place November 12, 2017, in Munich, Germany, where Dolkun Isa was elected president.