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[Field Story] Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports, “Almost half of imprisoned journalists in China are Uyghurs”

According to a published report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), almost half of the 44 journalists imprisoned in China in 2023 were Uyghurs.

Data from CPJ, which provided mugshots of imprisoned journalists around the world as of December 1, showed that China had the most journalists imprisoned.

CPJ said the high proportion of Uyghurs among journalists detained in China suggests that the Chinese government is abusing press freedom while also committing human rights violations against Muslim-majority ethnic groups.

An investigation into the cases of 19 detained Uyghur journalists found that they were generally indicted on charges of separatism and terrorism due to their criticism of the Chinese government.

This week marks 10 years since scholar and blogger Ilham Tohti was detained. Ilham, who was arrested in January 2014, is serving a life sentence on so-called separatism charges.

When imprisoning Ilham, a Chinese court cited interviews he gave to foreign media outlets as the founder of Uighurbiz, a Xinjiang news site that Chinese authorities shut down in 2014.

Regarding this, Zubayra Shamseden, who works at the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) in Washington, said, “For the Chinese government, Uyghur journalists are a dangerous group. “They don’t want them to say anything.”

“The Chinese government is trying to suppress Uyghur journalists, especially because it wants to block the voices of Uyghurs,” he said.


The Chinese government has made it illegal for some Uyghurs to refer to the Xinjiang region as the Uyghur region or East Turkistan.

According to Jodie Ginsberg, CPJ's CEO, the goal behind the arrests of journalists is often to silence critical reporters.

These tactics can be seen in the global data CPJ has collected on imprisoned journalists, including 320 around the world.


Three out of five recent cases in China in CPJ's 2023 database involved journalists accused of espionage, inciting separatism and subverting state power.


Targeting Uyghur journalists and bloggers is similar to the persecution of other Uyghur intellectuals and cultural figures in Xinjiang.

According to UHRP's 2021 report, more than 300 Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim intellectual and cultural elites are detained in the region.

“As an element of genocide, attacks on intellectuals and cultural elites may constitute a new form of ‘elite genocide’ aimed at eradicating Uyghur (and other) cultural identity,” the UHRP report said.

The Chinese government's repression extends beyond the country, and Uyghurs, especially journalists and activists, and their close relatives are being harassed or threatened in foreign countries.


Source: VOA News

The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” (Acts 23:11).

We hear that nearly half of the journalists imprisoned in China last year were Uyghurs.

Although China is imprisoning Uyghur journalists on various charges to prevent the independence of the Uyghur people, we see that it cannot break the will of the Uyghur people.

Lord, may the Uyghur people's will for independence and passion to overcome hardships be directed only to Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God and not anywhere else.

Would you help them become a Uyghur people who long for the kingdom of God, who will rule with justice and love from now until eternity, rather than a land to be walked on by our bodies that will soon decay and disappear.

Pour into the Uyghur souls the same spirituality as Apostle Paul, who boldly testified to the Lord's work despite any hardship and persecution, and raise them up as a people who proclaim the gospel to ethnic minorities in China and to all nations.

Therefore, let all oppression and lies be exposed before the gospel of the cross, and let the Uyghur people raise up those who long for the return of the Lord who rules with justice and love!


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