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‘I can’t be that careless’: Australian Uyghur activist targeted online | Uyghurs From “World news | The Guardian”



A Uyghur activist in Australia who has been the target of cyber-attacks by hacker groups in China says the Australian government needs to do more to educate the Uyghur community in Australia to protect themselves online.Uyghur activists outside of China are frequently the target of hackers based in China.Facebook’s head of cyber-espionage investigations, Mike Dvilyanksi, and head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, reported in March that a China-based hacking group known as Earth Empusa or Evil Eye had been targeting fewer than 500 activists, journalists and dissidents, predominantly Uyghurs from Xinjiang in China living in Turkey, Kazakhstan, the US, Syria, Australia and Canada.The group used fake accounts on Facebook to appear to be journalists, students, human rights advocates or members of the Uyghur community to trick the targets into clicking onto malicious links that would install spyware on their devices. Often the links would look like Uyghur or Turkish news sites.It followed a Google report in 2019 that users of its Android operating system were also targeted by hackers out of China.Nurgul Sawut, a Uyghur community leader based in Canberra, was last month one of more than 10,000 people named on a Chinese blacklist of “suspected terrorists” due to her activism, reported by the ABC. She told Guardian Australia she had been targeted since 2019 on Facebook, and the attacks took a number of forms.There was the straight-out trolling, where they would set up accounts pretending to be people from the Uyghur community, including her sister, and then post incendiary comments denouncing her, or sending her nasty messages, up to sending malware.Those usually came through by someone in the community whose account had been taken over.“Either they have received those messages and forwarded to me, or they just came directly to me through their account,” she said. “And as soon as you open that, your mobile is bugged. That has happened to me twice, and I had to reset my phone, and throw one phone away.”Sawut said she was now careful, had multiple devices, used encrypted email to communicate rather than Gmail or Hotmail, did not have Facebook connected to any other services, and tried to avoid any apps she knows might have links to China.Tom Uren, a senior analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre, told Guardian Australia many people in the Uyghur community tended to learn about the cybersecurity threat through word of mouth, but that was why the hackers turned to alternative methods like “watering-hole attacks” – where the attacker makes a fake website to look like a website the target might visit and it contains malware.“If they’re doing that well, that’s why you might need the watering-hole attacks, because you’re not able to penetrate that operational security gap, so this is perhaps a different way to get onto those devices.”But Sawut said getting others in her community to educate themselves on cybersecurity was a challenge.“We’re constantly educating people not to put WeChat on your main mobile phone. Some people are smart enough to have WeChat on an old phone, but some people say they don’t have anything to hide. It’s very careless.“I can’t be that careless. The amount of contacts I make, it’s very critical, and I do end up putting people at risk if I carelessly did what other people do. I’m tenfold more careful than anyone else.”Sawut said the Australian government should be educating the Uyghur community in Australia about how to protect themselves and what apps they should and should not use.“A lot of the information should be released to the public, yet they pretty much keep their cards really close to their chest,” she said.The Department of Home Affairs this month said in response to questions on notice from Senate estimates hearings it was not aware the activists in Australia were being targeted until Facebook published the blog post in March.The Australian federal police said it was not investigating the matter, but did make inquiries with Facebook after the post. Australia’s peak spy agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, said it would be inappropriate to comment, but said the agency takes the threat of foreign interference and espionage seriously.When asked what the government was doing to support the Uyghur community who might have been targeted, the Department of Home Affairs told parliament $122.6m had been invested in the past few years to counter foreign interference, as well as $62.8m invested in strengthening Australia’s social cohesion. There were no specific measures listed on cybersecurity education.Labor’s spokesman on cybersecurity, Tim Watts, told Guardian Australia the government had not focused on the threat of foreign interference on those who are not in government agencies.“Labor has long been calling for the Morrison government to take the threat of cyber-enabled foreign interference against diaspora communities and non-government democratic institutions like the media and research institutions seriously,” he said. “It’s well past time the government stopped talking about it and delivered a real plan to protect these vulnerable groups from foreign interference.”Uren said there may be a reluctance for the government to recommend for or against using certain apps.“It’s tricky space, because there are no guarantees, and governments don’t want to get into the situation where they say this is the best thing they advise that you use, and it turns out there’s some flaw,” he said.Facebook declined to comment.







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China uses coercive policies in Xinjiang to drive down Uyghur birth rates: Report From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



Demonstrators hold placards during a protest against Uyghur genocide, in London.BEIJING: Coercive policies in China’s far western region of Xinjiang have led to a sharp decline in birth rates for Uyghurs and other minorities, which could add to evidence of genocide, an Australian think tank said in a report released on Wednesday. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) report, citing official Chinese data, said that there has been an “unprecedented and precipitous drop in official birth-rates in Xinjiang since 2017,” when China began a campaign to control birth rates in the region. Xinjiang’s birth rate dropped by nearly half from 2017 to 2019, and counties where the population was predominately Uyghur or another minority group saw much sharper declines than other counties, the government-funded institute said in the report. China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China maintains that changes in birth rates are linked to improved health and economic policy and it strongly rejects accusations of genocide. The ASPI analysis is based on Chinese government data, including regional population figures released in March. “Our analysis builds on previous work and provides compelling evidence that Chinese government policies in Xinjiang may constitute an act of genocide,” it said. The ASPI report said birth rates in counties with a 90 percent or greater indigenous population declined by an average of 56.5 percent from 2017 to 2018, far more than other regions in Xinjiang and China during the same period. Fines, internment, or the threat of internment, were among the methods used by authorities to discourage births, it said. There have been growing calls among some western states for an investigation into whether Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang amount to genocide. The United States government and parliaments in countries including Britain and Canada have described China’s policies in Xinjiang as genocide. According to the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, there would need to be proof of intent by Beijing to destroy an ethnic population in part to meet that determination. Rights groups, researchers, former residents and some western lawmakers say Xinjiang authorities have arbitrarily detained around a million Uyghurs and other primarily Muslim minorities in a network of camps since 2016. Beijing initially denied the camps existed but has since said they are vocational training centres designed to combat religious extremism, and that all people in the centres have “graduated”. FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail







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Uyghur imams targeted in China’s Xinjiang crackdown From “BBC News – World”



According to Bunin, only 7,714 criminal verdicts are available for Xinjiang for 2018, despite the region logging 74,348 criminal cases that year. The near total absence of verdicts on charges typically levied against religious Uyghurs, like “propagating extremism” and “inciting separatism”, suggests China is intentionally scrubbing the record.







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West and rights groups accuse China of massive Uyghur crimes From “World”




Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany are accusing China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanding unimpeded access for U.N. experts







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West and rights groups accuse China of massive Uyghur crimes From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.”China’s U.N. Mission sent notes to many of the U.N.’s 193 member nations last week urging them not to participate in the “anti-China event.” And China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun sent text messages to the 15 Western co-sponsors of the meeting expressing shock at their support, urging them to “think twice” and withdraw it.He warned that if they don’t, it will be “harmful to our relationship and cooperation.”At the meeting, Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward called the situation in Xinjiang “one of the worst human rights crises of our time.”“The evidence, from a growing number of credible sources — including satellite imagery, survivor testimony and publicly available Chinese Government documents — is of grave concern,” said Woodward, who previously was the UK ambassador in China. “The evidence points to a program of repression of specific ethnic groups. Expressions of religion have been criminalized and Uyghur language and culture are discriminated against systematically and at scale.”In recent years, an estimated 1 million people or more have been confined in camps in Xinjiang, according to foreign governments and researchers. Most are Uyghurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group. Authorities have been accused of imposing forced labor, systematic forced birth control and torture.The Chinese government has flatly rejected the allegations. It has characterized the camps, which it says are now closed, as vocational training centers to teach Chinese language, job skills and the law in order to support economic development and combat extremism. China saw a wave of Xinjiang-related terrorist attacks through 2016.Story continuesOrganizers said there were 152 participants in Wednesday’s event, including 51 countries, and speaker after speaker called on China to end its abuses against the Uyghurs.Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Christoph Heusgen thanked “all the co-sponsors who came together despite some massive Chinese threats.”He urged them to remain committed “until the Uyghurs can live again in freedom, until they are no longer detained, no longer victims of forced labor and other human rights abuses, until they can exercise freedom of religion and freedom of speech.”Heusgen appealed to China to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “and tear down the detention camps.”“If you have nothing to hide, why don’t you finally grant unimpeded access to the (U.N.) High Commissioner for Human Rights?” he asked.U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the Biden administration “will keep standing up and speaking out until China’s government stops its crime against humanity and the genocide of Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.”“And we will keep working in concert with our allies and our partners until China’s government respects the universal human rights of all its people,” she said.Uyghur human rights activist Jewher Ilhan spoke about her father Ilham Tohti, a noted economist who has called for autonomy for Xinjiang and is serving a life sentence on separatist-related charges. “We don’t even know if he’s alive,” she said.“Hundreds of thousands, even millions of Uyghurs are still being targeted,” said Ilhan, who now lives in the United States. “The fate of my father and my community is in the world’s hands now. We all need to join together and take action to stop this humanitarian crisis from continuing.”A Chinese diplomat countered, saying: “I make it clear that China is here to tell the truth, it doesn’t mean in any way we recognize this event.”He then showed a short video and said: “The truth is, it‘s not about human rights in Xinjiang, it’s about using Xinjiang as a political tool to contain China. The U.S. and some of its allies make a presumption of guilt, and then fabricate so-called evidence.”Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, whose organization recently concluded that China’s atrocities amount to the crime against humanity of persecution, said the challenge is what to do about it.“Beijing clearly calculates that through censorship, propaganda, intimidation, and threats it can somehow avoid accountability,” he said, pointing many actions including its “extraordinary lengths of disinviting people” from Wednesday’s event, its “endless charade” that has prevented Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet from visiting Xinjiang, and U.N. inaction.Roth expressed disappointment that Bachelet, who was invited to the event, turned down the invitation. “I’m sure she’s busy. We all are. But I have a similar global mandate to defend human rights and I couldn’t think of anything more important to do than to join you here today. I certainly wasn’t deterred by the commute — all the way to my laptop,” he said.“The good news is that the tide seems to be turning,” he said, pointing to more countries condemning China’s crimes. But he said more must be done.Roth called for a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on Xinjiang, for moving discussions to the U.N. Security Council, for seeking avenues to justice including the use of universal jurisdiction, and for considering creation of an international investigative mechanism similar to those for Syria and Myanmar.“The true test of the significance of today’s event will be the follow-up steps that we all take,” he said.Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard said the persecution of the Uyghurs is “a critical test” for the international human rights system to investigate allegations of “massive violations” by a government against its own people and hold those responsible accountable.She called “the silence, fear and timidity” of Bachelet’s office and the U.N. Secretariat “frankly unacceptable and a breach of their mandate, as are the silence of many states.”Callamard said supporting a multilateral response to what is happening in Xinjiang is not about “picking sides in a fight with China or supporting the U.S. or anyone else, it is about fighting for human rights.”







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Chinese Uyghur policy causes ‘unprecedented’ fall in Xinjiang birthrates | Uyghurs From “World news | The Guardian”



Birthrates in Xinjiang fell by almost half in the two years after the Chinese government implemented policies to reduce the number of babies born to Uyghur and other minority Muslim families, new research has claimed.The figures show unprecedented declines which were more extreme than any global region at any time in the 71 years of UN fertility data collection, including during genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia, according to the authors of the report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Aspi).The data adds to mounting evidence of coercive fertility policies in Xinjiang, including multiple first person accounts of forced sterilisation or birth control, and leaked policing data on the internment of women for violating family planning regulations.They are among Chinese government policies believed to be designed to forcibly assimilate the Uyghur and other Muslim populations. In April, Human Rights Watch determined the Chinese government was committing multiple crimes against humanity but said the extent of coercive birth control and sexual violence, while alarming, needed more investigation. Other governments, including the UK, and legal groups have determined the Chinese government is committing genocide.The authors of the report, Nathan Ruser and James Leibold, said they compiled the report using publicly available Chinese government statistics to create datasets of county-level birthrates from 2011 to 2019, and comparing counties with higher proportions of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities.It covered the period before, during, and after the implementation of the Chinese Communist party’s campaigns against “illegal births” in April 2017, when authorities also stopped publishing statistics on the birthrates of separate minority groups.Aspi’s report found the birthrate across Xinjiang fell by 48.74% between 2017 and 2019. In counties where the population was at least 90% non-Han Chinese, the birthrate dropped by an average 56.5% between 2017 and 2018. By examining county-level statistics, the report provided further evidence of “the systematic targeting” of communities, it said.“Previous research by both Chinese and foreign experts has examined the tightening of birth control policy in Xinjiang and a corresponding drop in natural population growth beginning in 2015, but even more dramatically after 2017,” it said.Among the evidence cited in the report, Aspi also included state media reports about crackdowns on “illegal births”, and the collection of US$1m from 629 families over four months in a single county. In other areas authorities launched hotlines and rewarded people who informed on their neighbours, and punished officials who failed to meet targets.“The crackdown has led to an unprecedented and precipitous drop in official birthrates in Xinjiang since 2017. The birthrate across the region fell by nearly half (48.74 %) in the two years between 2017 and 2019,” said the report.Citing state media, the report said in 2017, 460 party members and state employees were punished for illegal births in Hotan prefecture, where 97% of the population is Uyghur or from other non-Han groups. ‘The memories never leave me’: Uighur teacher describes forced sterilisation – video interviewWhile China’s government enforced a one-child policy for decades, it allowed minority families to have three children in rural areas or two in urban areas. The report said while the overall birthrate for the Xinjiang region remained relatively stable throughout the period, many individual counties, especially in the Uyghur-majority south, had exceptionally high birthrates in the past decade. There were 68 children born per 1,000 people in Kashgar in 2014, compared with 16.5 at the regional level.Aspi said policymakers saw this as “an increasingly urgent problem and source of perceived instability, literally a breeding ground for the ‘three evil forces’ of extremism, terrorism and splitism”.The Chinese government denies the allegations of mistreatment, genocide and crimes against humanity, saying many of its policies – including the mass detention network it says includes vocational training centres – are anti-terrorism efforts. It says birth control is entirely the choice of individuals and there is no agency interference. This claim has been contradicted by multiple women who claim they were coerced into sterilisation or contraception.The crackdown on minority population growth comes at the same time the Chinese government is trying to stave off a demographic crisis due to low birthrates in the rest of the country, and an ageing population.The Aspi report was published a day after the Chinese government released figures from its once-a-decade census, finding the decade to 2020 had the slowest annual population growth since the early 1960s. The census reported a bigger increase to China’s minority population compared with the Han population, however this was not broken down to county levels, and included the seven years prior to the major interventions on fertility in Xinjiang.“One thing we found is that in other provinces of similarly high minority populations … the birthrate climbed by about 3% in the last decade,” said Ruser. “So these policies seem to be very deliberately targeted towards the community of Xinjiang and the Uyghur community. When they talk about those general minority figures, I think you have to keep in mind there’s 55 other minorities.”







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7 Apple suppliers in China have links to forced labor programs, including the use of Uyghur Muslims from Xinjiang, according to a new report : worldnews From “World News”



What china is doing to the Uyghur muslims will be the cause of WW3China’s ascension to the world’s biggest economy is what will lead to ww3, not the Uyghurs. Uyghurs are just political tools used to justify condemnation of China by the west. If this Uyghur thing didn’t exist, the US and its allies would find other excuse to drum up war with China.People need to seriously get rid of this idea that the US and its allies are doing this because they genuinely care about bunch of muslims in China or something.







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China has urged United Nations member states not to attend an event planned next week by Germany, the United States and Britain on the repression of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang, according to a note seen by Reuters on Friday : worldnews From “World News”



One would imagine that if there were counterpoints to the Xinjiang Concentration Camp reports, CCP would want to use the platform to make their case rather than do backroom deals with indebted nations.I mean they have been insisting they are vocational training centers. You can probably view one of their propaganda channels to see the CCP’s argument. Not that you should believe them (or that you would anyways), because the CCP is a highly biased party in this case, but they do try to make their case, whether it’s true or not.







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New Zealand’s parliament unanimously declared that severe human rights abuses were taking place against Uyghur people in China’s Xinjiang region : worldnews From “World News”



New Zealand’s parliament on Wednesday unanimously declared that severe human rights abuses were taking place against Uyghur people in China’s Xinjiang region, but did not label the situation a genocide because of a government objection.All parties discussed and supported a motion by the smaller ACT Party but only after it was watered down to drop the word “genocide” from the text.In parliament, ACT’s deputy leader, Brooke van Velden, said she had to insert the phrase “severe human rights abuses” instead, in order to secure the approval of the ruling Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.







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New Zealand Parliament unanimously declares ‘severe human rights abuses’ occurring against Uyghur in China : worldnews From “World News”



Edit Credit to OP there comment from this week’s discussion on a different statement by New Zealand’s Prime Minister.Kiwi here. Most of our foreign policy commentary doesn’t make r/worldnews news , but when it does there is often a misinformed view that we are a Chinese vassal state or something ridiculous of that sort. Here’s some context to Ardern’s comments:New Zealand has sought to diversify trade away from a reliance upon China for some time now, having experienced the dangers of dependence on one export market once before in our history (before the UK joined the EEC/EU, and imposed barriers on our products, almost a quarter of our exports went to Britain). New Zealand was a founding signatory of the TPP, then CPTPP as a Pacific Rim bloc which excludes China, only signed RCEP in the hope that India would later rejoin it as they are a major market we have restricted access to (RCEP was not signed to access Chinese market despite their inclusion, as our existing bilateral FTA with the PRC has better conditions in China than RCEP), we are negotiating a post-Brexit UK FTA, FTA with the European Union, have aggressively chased a FTA with the United States under both Democrat and Republican administrations (but been turned down by both), signed PACER Plus to support the Pacific islands with free trade whilst excluding China, are developing a Trans-Tasman Single Economic Market to deepen integration with Australia, jointly negotiated with Canberra the ASEAN-NZ-AUS FTA, and a range of other measures. If we get US and Indian market access, we will finally have trading arrangements with the major world markets. Trump’s protectionism and India dropping bilateral and RCEP talks has delayed this, but that’s not our fault. NZ has done all it can to open alternate markets, and do the opposite of putting all eggs in one basket. Our Foreign Minister even said this during a speech on China:In thinking about long-term economic resilience we also understand that there is value in diversity. Just as the Council has noted, it is prudent not to put all eggs into a single basket. The New Zealand government will continue to work with business to pursue a range of trade opportunities.Those were those opportunities. If the US wants to support a Pacific region not dependent upon China, they need to do their part in trade. Our previous foreign minister put it beautifully:We have a choice. We either work together to ensure the regional rules of commerce protect the fundamental pillars our firms need to succeed – open markets, enforcement of contracts, access to independent judiciaries, and penalties for corruption and nepotism. Or we leave the rules to be written by others, placing our companies’ livelihoods in jeopardy.The point is backed by the numbers. Though US exports to the world have grown by 5.3 percent on average per year since 1990, the share of US total exports to New Zealand dropped, from nearly 18 percent to 10 percent. Meanwhile, imports from our regional partners with whom we have FTAs have grown significantly in relative terms over the same period. China’s exports to New Zealand, for instance, have grown on average by 17 percent per year. And China’s share of total exports to New Zealand has grown from 1 percent to 20 percent during that time – becoming our largest source of imported goods. The shift is even more drastic for the US share of imports across Asia. In 1990, 17.4 percent of all goods imported to Asia came from the US, whereas by 2018 that share had fallen to just 7.4 percent. Put another way, the US has lost half of its market share in Asia over a 28 year period.Essentially, we sent our last foreign minister to Washington DC and told the Trump administration that they are losing the Pacific to China because they remain protectionist. That’s the trade argument. As for turning a blind eye to China’s horrific human rights violations, New Zealand is unable to legally impose unilateral sanctions on any country without a UN mandate. But, it has been anything but silent:Joint Statement by Australia and New Zealand on XinjiangJoint Statement by New Zealand and Australia on Hong KongNew Zealand and Australia welcome sanctions on ChinaNew Zealand signs letter to the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council over PRC abuse of UighursNew Zealand signs international letter gravely concerned about the human rights situation in XinjiangNew Zealand Prime Minister raises abuse of minorities during meeting with Chinese PresidentFor all of these reasons, New Zealand was warned by China that it’s eyes would be “plucked out”. We didn’t stop, though. In addition, New Zealand invested a billion dollars over four years in a foreign affairs strategy – the Pacific Reset – that sought to reassert our influence and contain China’s within the South Pacific island countries.Next: the recent clickbait headlines regarding our apparent ‘betrayal’ of the Five Eyes alliance, which is again alluded to within this article. The UKUSA agreement text, as shown in the declassified HW 80/2 file on the UK national archives website, states the following:Scope of the AgreementThe agreement governs the relations of the above-mentioned parties in Communication Intelligence matters only. However, the exchange of such collateral material as is applicable for technical purposes and is not prejudicial to national interests will be effected between the Communication Intelligence agencies in both countries.Ardern responded to the Murdoch media allegations that we were the weak link in Five Eyes by asserting the following:”The point we’re making is Five Eyes is a security and intelligence platform – not every issue we speak on as New Zealand is a security and intelligence issue. It’s all about making sure we’re partnering or speaking with the right cohort at the right time.”The UK and Australian media do not even know what the Five Eyes alliance is. It is a spying alliance. It is not a trade pact, defence pact, or human rights tribunal. As I’ve already made clear – we do speak out. But not through an unrelated organisation. A mass surveillance bloc of Western spy agencies has nothing to do with this issue, and as I’ve already quoted – the UKUSA/Five Eyes agreement has no legal basis for making such statements.Thankfully the Australian Foreign Minister recognized this position as legitimate, even if the Australian media hasn’t:”Now my view is that countries will choose to address issues of concerns in whichever forum they themselves determine appropriate and consistent with their respective national interest. But our respect for each other – Australia, the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada – is enduring, and continuing, and one which we particularly in Australia value enormously.”TL;DR – New Zealand is ready to stand up and condemn China on their civil and political rights violations, but we need further support to diversify trade. FTAs with India and the United States would be essential to this. We haven’t been silent though, and this is the latest step taken by our government to stand against Beijing despite their warning last year that continued action would result in our “eyes being plucked out”.







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