Uyghur Imams Targeted In China's Xinjiang Crackdown

Uyghur Imams Targeted In China's Xinjiang Crackdown

According to new research by a Uyghur rights group, China has imprisoned or detained at least 630 imams and other Muslim religious figures since 2014 in its crackdown in the Xinjiang region.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • Extremism charges were being issued on a "flimsy legal basis" in Xinjiang for "offenses that shouldn't even qualify as offenses," said Donald Clarke, a professor at George Washington University who specializes in Chinese law.
  • While authorities reportedly detained 1,046 clerics at some point, the punishments reflect the harsh nature of Xinjiang justice: 96% sentenced to at least five years and 26% to 20 years or more, including 14 life sentences.
  • Targeting the Turkic ethnic groups in north-western China is not a new phenomenon. Muslim minorities suffered long periods of repression between the 1950s and 1970s when Qurans were burned, mosques and cemeteries desecrated, and traditional dress and hairstyles prohibited.
  • According to Chinese government data, criminal arrests in Xinjiang accounted for 21% of the country's total in 2017, despite the region having about 1.5% of the population.

Read the original story here.

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