The first scholar to have translated the Quran into Uyghur Sheikh Muhammed Salih Hajim died on 24 January 2018 in Urumqi while in the Chinese custody. Arrested 40 days ago, he was a prisoner of conscience. He wrote many Islamic books into Uyghur language. Prior to be jailed he lived under house arrest for 13 years. Questions need answering by Chinese authorities? Why was imprisoned? What was his health condition? [More details here]
China is carrying out a secret campaign to ethnically cleanse Uyghur Muslims. One million are now in Chinese labor camps according to reports.
Uyghurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims, making up around 45 per cent of the population. Around 40 per cent are Han Chinese. East Turkistan also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, it lies in the heart of Asia. The current territorial size of East Turkistan is 1,626,000 square kilometers (635,000 square miles). according to official records the East Turkistan’s original territories contained 1,820,000 square kilometers.
The region has had intermittent autonomy and occasional independence, but what is now known as Xinjiang came under Chinese rule in the 18th Century. An East Turkestan state was briefly declared in 1949, but independence was short-lived and later that year Xinjiang officially became part of Communist China.
Uyghur commercial and cultural activities have been gradually curtailed by the Chinese state. Earlier this year, China introduced measures prohibiting “abnormally” long beards, the wearing of veils in public places and refusing to watch state television. The laws also banned not allowing children to attend government schools, not abiding by family planning policies, deliberately damaging legal documents and marrying using only religious procedures.
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Schools reportedly discourage students from using the traditional Arabic Muslim greeting “As-Salaam Alaikum” (“peace be upon you”), with the Government anxious to discourage what it views as the “separation” of the Muslim world from mainstream Chinese society.
Authorities in northwest China are testing facial-recognition systems that tip off police when residents of the Uyghur-dominated Xinjiang region venture more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) from designated “safe areas,” according to media reports.
The safe areas comprise individuals’ homes and workplaces, citing a person familiar with the project, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not have authorization to discuss it with the media.
State-run defense contractor China Electronics Technology Group is leading the Xinjiang alert project, which Bloomberg said is part of the Beijing-based company’s effort to develop software to collate data on jobs, hobbies, consumption habits, and other behavior of ordinary citizens to predict terrorist acts before they occur.
The project, which began testing early last year, is focused on southern Xinjiang—home to the majority of the region’s more than 11 million Muslim ethnic Uyghurs.
The alert project links security cameras to a database of individuals who have attracted the attention of authorities and tracks their movements within a particular area, reports said, adding that police can then follow up by intercepting the individuals, visiting their homes, or questioning their families and friends.
Listen here for an interview on the situation:
Here is an introduction to East Turkistan (Xinjiang)