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Uyghur News Recap: May 6–13, 2024
A summary of Uyghur-related news around the world

Table of Contents

Jailed Uyghur Official Highlights Chinese-Uyghur Land Disputes

A former Uyghur government official in Xinjiang, China, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for supporting local farmers who refused to give up their land to Chinese developers without proper compensation, according to a report by Radio Free Asia. This case reflects broader disputes over land rights amid allegations of coercion by Chinese developers. Meanwhile, Uyghur and Tibetan activists protested Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Paris, condemning human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet. Talks between French President Emmanuel Macron and Xi focused primarily on the war in Ukraine, the Middle East conflict, and trade. In an interview with Radio Free Asia, international lawyer Michael van Walt challenged China's claim over Xinjiang, rejecting China's unified state narrative and describing Beijing's territorial claims as colonialism. Additionally, a recent report revealed that a significant amount of cotton from Xinjiang is being falsely labeled as American or Brazilian, despite bans on Xinjiang cotton due to forced labor concerns. There are also concerns about sexual harassment within human rights organizations, with some prominent members of Uyghur rights groups being implicated. Dozens of Uyghur refugees who fled China 10 years ago remain detained in Thailand, facing uncertain futures amid conflicting explanations from Thai authorities and the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR. Rights organizations accuse Beijing of repressive policies against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, which China has repeatedly denied. UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch told VOA in an email that despite requests, they have not been permitted to access the group or engage with them for the purpose of facilitating solutions.