A year ago today, when Chinese police violently suppressed a peaceful protest by the Uighur minority in Urumqi, the capital of the western region of Xinjiang, the world essentially looked the other way.
The violent protests of July 2009 in Urumchi revealed deep-rooted problems in Beijing’s policy towards the Uyghur people of Xinjiang region in China’s far west. The path to resolution can only be unblocked by acknowledging the Uyghurs’ right to speak, says Henryk Szadziewski.
Earlier this week, Chinese authorities said they had uncovered a ‘major’ terrorist organization. The timing raised some eyebrows, as it the announcement came just a couple of weeks before the anniversary of the riots last year in Ürümqi.
Chaos plagues China these days. According to official statistics, 200 million people are unemployed. Every two minutes, someone kills him or herself. Grievances among the citizenry have lead to a rapid increase in mass protests, which are often violent.
It is the epitome of all ironies. A supposedly workers Marxist/Communist political entity, the People's Republic of China, is in reality capitalism's ultimate creation: an authoritarian workshop for multinational corporations that keeps wages at the lowest possible levels, while making strikes and plant shutdowns by workers strictly illegal.
How does it feel to be away from your homeland, to have no place to go, with every place you arrive at being another stop before you have to go somewhere else, to have to live constantly on the move, to always live with uncertainty about your future?
With a nicely Chinese sense of both history and grievance, Iran today expressed displeasure at its former friends in Beijing. China, so long a defender of Iran in the UN security council, not only failed to veto the sanctions resolution on Wednesday but actually voted in favour.
I recently had the great opportunity to attend Mountainfilm, a documentary film festival in Telluride, Colorado. This year's theme was "Extinction" and focused on the human effect on species decline and the environment. I'm already dreaming of Naomi's and my National Geographic film debut at Mountainfilm in the future … but back to the point.
A new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown On 2009 Unrest In Urumchi, details widespread human rights violations committed by the People’s Republic of China in the wake of unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.