The persecution of a people

China's communist party sees human rights as an existential threat to their rule, and their clampdown on minorities and opposition groups demanding basic human rights goes way beyond its national borders.

The Uyghurs, an ethnic minority in Xinjiang (also known as East-Turkestan, an autonomous region North-West in China), and other Muslim minorities are heavily affected by China´s measures to control its citizens: through its construction of an Orwellian high-tech surveillance state, China surveils and controls the Uyghurs not only inside China, but also those living abroad. Inside China, credible reports show that more than 1 million ethnic Uyghurs have been held in detention camps, so-called “re-education camps”, that by human rights organizations have been described as concentration camps.

Yesterday's resporting from AP News on this topic shows us that China's goverment won't stop here: The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uyghurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population. China are now cutting Uyghur birsts with IUD's, abortion and sterilization. The campaign over the past four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of “demographic genocide.”

Last Friday The Rafto Foundation hosted a webinar about China's clampdown on the Uyghurs. Vicky Xu, Megha Rajagopalan and Zumretay Erkin joined us to discuss this issue. Aftenposten journalist, Kristoffer Rønneberg, was the moderator of the webinar. Did you miss out on the webinar? Check it out here:

Protecting human rights during covid-19

Coronavirus has changed everyday life around the world. The pandemic especially puts the human rights activists fight for human rights under pressure. Here you can follow the latest developments from around the world.