Skip to main content

Human rights violations in China

July 25, 2018 by admin

Grave silence over Xinjiang

In the past, the region was famous for its knives. They are forbidden now. China has transformed the home of the Uighurs into a large prison camp.
Security personnel in front of the big mosque of Kashgar

The state power is omnipresent: Security personnel in front of the large mosque of Kashgar Photo: ap

XINJIANG taz | Where even last year the merchants called out their wares, where ladies with headscarves went from stall to stall, to pick silk scarves or coats of yak wool, and where the innkeepers roasted their lamb skewers on the open grill, today prevails Grabesstille.

Instead, groups of uniformed men patrol the old town of Kashgar around the clock. "Security Force" stands on the armbands of mostly young men; their badges identify them as members of the People's Police. Their armament would be appropriate for a war: they carry assault rifles and submachine guns, in addition to batons and shields. Almost all of them are ethnic Chinese, only a few look like Uighurs.

The police are out for anyone who seems vaguely Muslim. Especially men with beards have to show their passport every few meters and answer questions about where and when. The police ransack their bags and scour them: special powers apply throughout the region. No wonder that hardly anyone gets here for pleasure anymore.

The fenced bazaar has already lost its soul when the city council had it rebuilt without further ado: What looks like mud huts, today consists of concrete. Now the area loses its last remnant of life and sociability. The once lively Kashgar is more and more similar to a single large prison camp with checkpoints and barbed wire barriers in the middle of the city.

The Chinese government is launching a brutal campaign against the Uighur Muslim people. Their homeland in the far west of China is hardly noticed by the western world public - unlike, for example, the Tibetans, who are also persecuted by the Chinese leadership. That could also be because Uighurs are Muslims and not Buddhists.

Even if China becomes an increasingly important partner for Europe and the federal government in times of US President Donald Trump, the character of the regime has not changed. In the name of security and stability, the state trumps elemental rights. In Xinjiang, ordinary citizens end up in camps; their mosques are being torn down, they are no longer allowed to cultivate their traditions; there is complete surveillance.
A mood like in prison

Not only Kashgar, but also all other cities in the region are hit by massive police presence. Aksu, Turfan, Hami, Yili in the north of the province or the provincial capital Urumqi - the same mood prevails everywhere in Xinjiang: as in jail. A normal life is hardly possible anymore. Every few hundred meters, the military has built checkpoints. Armored vehicles roll on the streets.

The region was once famous for its knife shops; the Uighurs were proud of their skills in forging sharp blades. Today, the sale of any knife is prohibited. It seems cynical that propaganda banners right at the entrance to the largest mosque in Kashgar, the Idh Kha, with white characters on a red background, praise "social stability," "harmony," and "ethnic unity."
Zhang Lijuan, political scientist

"Terrorists do not represent a nation, no religion, no people"

Foreign journalists are not welcome in Xinjiang province. This is not so much the Uighurs. They watch the strangers with interest, but do not dare to address them. They are quickly blacklisted by the government, reports a Uigure who calls himself Ahmed and yet speaks. If you stand on it, you will regularly receive a visit from the military police, he says - or you will be arrested immediately.

Authorities tell journalists they may disappear. Half an hour after check-in at a hotel, state security officials come and ask what they are looking for. Not even a walk to the supermarket is possible. No sooner had you left the hotel: passport control. The ID card was retained in the hotel - by order of the authorities.
Three times the size of Germany, but few people

Beijing believes that it can afford it. The region is three times the size of Germany in terms of area, but has just about 20 million inhabitants - which is little for Chinese standards. Part of the autonomous province consists of huge mountains with peaks up to 8,000 meters high. There is also a sparsely vegetated plateau, over which still nomads with their Sc

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes