Week Ending 18 Dec 2020

1. Turpan city in Uyghurland (East Turkestan) has been lockdown due to COVID-19

According to the information obtained by Uyghur Information Center (Uyghurinfo.org) on December 13, 2020, three cases of Covid-19 were discovered on December 13, 2020 in Turpan city. With that, a curfew has been imposed – no single person has been allowed to go out of home or enter Turpan city. No further information was provided by the government regarding to the length of the curfew order.

2. Uyghurs are required to provide standard headshot photos and detailed personal information for using WeChat (Chinese social media app)

According to the information obtained by Uyghur Information Center (Uyghurinfo.org) on December 13, 2020, with the lockdown of Turpan, the government ordered Uyghurs to post their standard headshots and detailed personal information when using the biggest Chinese social media app – WeChat. The headshot photo must have white background and the person should have no head covering in the picture (similar to Chinese official ID and passportphoto). The personal information section must include full name, occupation, gender, age, political standing, telephone number, bank account number, national ID number and detailed address, plus counselor’s name and phone number . The government has required the information in order to provide “financial assistance” due to the Covid-19 lockdown, but provided merely 181 Chinese yuan (less than $28) per person. Some seniors and others not proficient in Chinese language and who lost their children and husbands to the concentration camps are facing difficulties in providing such information were not getting the “financial assistance”.

3. Chinese government activities of forcing Uyghurs to take unknown medicine have been continuing with COVID-19 as a pretext

According to the information obtained by Uyghur Information Center (Uyghurinfo.org) on December 15, 2020, using Covid-19 as pretext, the government is mandating Uyghurs to take unknown medicines twice daily – a Chinese medicine in the morning and a white tablet in the afternoon. No information was provided as to the nature of these medicines. The control of Uyghur people has been so tight that even the only entrances (doors) of many Uyghur houses were locked and sealed from outside.

4. More China’s forced labor camps in Urumqi were exposed

According to the information obtained by Uyghur Information Center (Uyghurinfo.org) on December 14, 2020, one of China’s labor camp factories in Urumqi was discovered to be located in Badawan region and the labor camp factor focuses on manufacturing footwears. Although government had claimed that it has closed the factory and taken down the usual slogans and signage outside the factory door, some workers there have been known to visit or contact their family members once a week. In Shuimogou district of Urumqi, a hang sign of “Vocational Training School of Shuimogou District” has been put at the entrance of a factory which was turned out to be a force labor factory utilized Uyghur forced labor.

Although the related government officials had been informed on the closure of some of China’s forced labor camps, the whereabouts of the Uyghurs from those labor camps, especially the ones sent to prisons have been tightly controlled by requiring the non-Han Chinese government officials (including Uyghur and other ethnic officials) to sign a national security agreement in order not to leak the information out.

5. Selling imported/foreign goods has been forbidden in Urumqi

According to the information obtained by Uyghur Information Center (Uyghurinfo.org) on December 14, 2020, foreign goods including consumer staples (food and beverages, household goods, etc. ) in Urumqi city stores have disappeared and those stores that sell exclusively foreign goods have been shuttered. For example, the foreign goods in Herembagh store on Yananlu and Xiyu bazaars on Dawanlu have disappeared.

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