After the UN’s allegations of crimes against humanity, the world must mobilise on China’s actions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

In April 2020, CSW published a guest blog written by an expert on Uyghur culture who outlined the pervasive human rights crisis in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Over two years later, the situation remains unchanged, and as we hear from the same expert, the need for international action grows more pressing with every passing day.

“Kamil is a broken young man. Wrenched from his home at dead of night five years ago, hooded, shackled and shoved into the back of a police van, he disappeared. Two years ago, he re-emerged. Via friends of friends we heard with immense relief that he was alive, but the message we received was that he feared nothing anymore, such had been the terror he had faced daily during his incarceration. Yes he was alive, but barely.

More than two years have passed since my last blog, and there are hundreds of thousands of Kamils. Some have been ‘released’ to forced labour, many making cheap clothing for Western brands; others have been sentenced for spurious crimes in secret courts to draconian prison terms; others are still unaccounted for, and many have died.

The Chinese government has been working overtime garnering support around the world to justify incarcerating up to three million Uyghur and Turkic minority citizens from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, its North Westernmost province, in a network of at least 380 razor-wire clad and watchtower-surrounded so-called ‘Vocational Training Schools’.

Continue reading After the UN’s allegations of crimes against humanity, the world must mobilise on China’s actions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

« Personne n’est à l’abri des rafles » : La vie des Ouïghours dans la région chinoise du Xinjiang

La région autonome ouïghoure du Xinjiang, en Chine, connaît actuellement une crise des droits humains sans précédent. Entre un et trois millions de Ouïghours, Kazakhs et membres d’autres minorités ethniques, majoritairement musulmans, sont détenus sans chef d’accusation, ni procès dans des “camps de rééducation. Le billet de blog suivant est écrit par un expert de la culture ouïghoure et nous éclaire sur ce qu’est la vie pour ceux qui se trouvent dans la région

« Imaginez un monde où l’on épie chacun de vos gestes. Où les personnes que vous rencontrez, celles à qui vous rendez visite et même vos conversations sont surveillées. Où l’on peut vous contraindre à descendre d’un bus, interrompant votre voyage ou vous forcer à sortir de votre voiture à un poste de contrôle. Où vos biens, votre identité, votre visage, vos empreintes digitales et votre iris sont scannés plusieurs fois par jour, et où le contenu de votre téléphone peut vous envoyer en prison pour le reste de votre vie. 

Telle est la nouvelle réalité pour plus de 10 millions de Ouïghours dans la province du Xinjiang, au nord-ouest de la Chine, depuis que l’ancien gouverneur du Tibet, Chen Quanguo, a été appelé à en prendre la tête. En effet, Xi Jinping et le Parti communiste chinois considèrent Xinjiang comme la deuxième province la plus problématique de Chine depuis 2017.

Continue reading “« Personne n’est à l’abri des rafles » : La vie des Ouïghours dans la région chinoise du Xinjiang”

North Korea and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Grim parallels in two of the most repressive parts of the world

On 3 March the China-focused information platform SupChina published translated extracts from a 16-hour discussion in a “room” on the app Clubhouse called “Is there a concentration camp in Xinjiang?” The room attracted an incredible 4,000 participants, but the truly remarkable thing about the conversation was that it brought together Uyghurs and Han Chinese people – both inside and outside China – in a space momentarily beyond government restrictions.

Reliable information about what is happening to the Uyghurs is heavily censored in China; the only news about the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is from state media, which paints Uyghurs as either potential terrorists or grateful recipients of the government’s “re-education” programme.

Before it was banned, Clubhouse briefly provided a brand-new channel for open discussion of one of the most sensitive issues in China today. SupChina described the conversation as “historic,” and it was; historic, moving, tragic and illuminating.

Continue reading “North Korea and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Grim parallels in two of the most repressive parts of the world”

Together for Uyghurs: Many beliefs, one voice

“I’m here not as a professional activist or a scholar but as a daughter and as someone directly affected by the atrocities that are being discussed today against Uyghurs – and as part of this week to remember one of the worst stains on human history, the Holocaust. I’m one of those who understand deeply how this horror must inform our response to present events.”

Ziba Murat, daughter of retired Uyghur doctor Gulshan Abbas who was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison.


Every year on 27 January, the world marks Holocaust Memorial Day, remembering the millions killed under Nazi persecution, as well as in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

It is a day to honour the memories of those who lost their lives and to re-commit to never allowing such crimes to happen again.

Continue reading “Together for Uyghurs: Many beliefs, one voice”

“No lo compraré, China”: El costo de la “Fast Fashion” para las minorías religiosas y étnicas en la región China de Uigur

Una nueva sudadera de algodón llegó a mi casa esta semana, con tres palabras en la etiqueta que hizo que mi mente diera vueltas: ‘Hecho en China’. ¿Pero en qué parte de China? ¿Se hizo en la región de Uigur? ¿Era esta sudadera un producto del trabajo forzado? ¿Yo era parte de este problema; aunque sin saberlo, alimentaba una industria que sabía que estaba arraigada en la difícil situación de las minorías religiosas y étnicas de China?

¿De dónde viene el algodón de China?

China es uno de los mayores productores de algodón del mundo y la mayor parte de su algodón se produce en la Región Autónoma Uigur de Sinkiang (la región de Uigur), conocida por muchos uigures como “El Turquestán Oriental”. Informes fiables afirman que la región de Uigur produce el 84% de la producción de algodón de China, y es el principal proveedor y exportador de algodón de prendas de vestir y productos textiles a las fábricas chinas e internacionalmente.[1] La Coalición para Poner Fin al Trabajo Forzoso de Uigur cree que el 20% del algodón del mundo proviene de la región de Uigur.

Continue reading ““No lo compraré, China”: El costo de la “Fast Fashion” para las minorías religiosas y étnicas en la región China de Uigur”