Cultural Destruction in East Turkestan

January 26, 2019

An explainer by Uyghur Human Rights Project Explainer by Henryk Szadziewski; read the report in Melayu.

Demolition of Uyghur Neighborhoods

The Chinese government has been demolishing Uyghur neighborhoods across East Turkestan, for more than a decade. This has resulted in the loss of physical structures, including Uyghur homes, shops, and religious sites. Uyghurs have been forcibly relocated to heavily monitored apartment blocks.

Demolition of Uyghur homes in Kashgar

Kashgar Old City, the spiritual heart of Uyghur culture and previously one of the best-preserved Islamic cities, has been demolished. The redevelopment of the Old City for tourism has decimated traditional Uyghur life.

Eradication of Customs and Traditions

Chinese authorities are attempting to assimilate Uyghurs through repression of customs and traditions, and allowing Uyghur culture to take only officially defined forms. Chinese policy states that cultural practices and religious belief must serve socialist values.Uyghur Meshrep

The suites of classical music known as the Muqam, and the Meshrep, a traditional event that served as a platform for a wide variety of Uyghur cultural expression, including music, dance, and oral history, must conform to government orders on correctness.

Uyghurs are forced to publicly perform Chinese dances, sing Communist “Red Songs,” wear traditional Chinese robes, and celebrate Chines New Year.

Crackdown on Artists, Academics, and Journalists

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Watch the UHRP co-sponsored event featuring the presentation of a new report by Dr. David Tobin and Nyrola Elimä on transnational repression.

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