The predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic group are among the minorities targeted in what Beijing claims is a campaign to tackle unrest and separatism. The UN says a million Uighurs have been arbitrarily detained in extralegal “political reeducation camps,” whilst Human Rights Watch reports that surveillance and repression in Xinjiang has increased dramatically since 2016.


Coronavirus and surveillance tech: how far will gov’ts go and will they stay when they get there?

Since the coronavirus outbreak became a fast-spreading pandemic, governments from across the globe have implemented new policies to help slow the spread of the virus. In addition to closing borders to non-citizens, many governments have also mobilised digital surveillance technologies to track and contain visitors and citizens alike. On Wednesday, the Hong Kong government announced […]

US lawmakers seek to ban imports from Xinjiang, China over forced labour

US lawmakers on Wednesday proposed a ban on most imports from China’s Xinjiang region, charging that goods produced by Uighur forced labourers were easily making their way into the United States. The United States already bans products made through slavery. but with China holding more than one million Uighurs and other Muslims in camps in Xinjiang, lawmakers said that forced labour […]


‘Human rights with Chinese characteristics’ are not human rights at all

By Omer Kanat, Executive Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project In 2017, three days before Human Rights Day on December 10, Beijing hosted the ‘South-South Human Rights Forum.’ The event took place as the Chinese authorities were interning vast numbers of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in concentration camps. More than 300 delegates from 70 countries […]

The legacy of Hong Kong’s protest movement will be hard to erase

“Think of all the destruction they [have done] to Hong Kong!” a friend messaged me. He didn’t say who “they” were, though in context I can only imagine he was referring to the students who first occupied and are, as I write, making their last stand at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). And, yes, […]


Exclusive: ‘I am a Hongkonger’ – Artist Ai Weiwei on why he supports the city’s ‘brave, clever, beautiful’ protest movement

Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei made his name in visual arts, film and architecture, before his critical commentary against the Chinese government led to persecution and a trial on allegations of tax evasion. Ai moved to Berlin in 2015, and has become an outspoken advocate for migrants’ rights. During the height of the anti-extradition law […]

Author Louisa Lim: How Beijing uses intimidation to censor the Tiannanmen Massacre outside of China

Although 30 years have passed since the Tiananmen Massacre, the bloody crackdown has become increasingly sensitive for journalists stationed in China to cover. Louisa Lim, a veteran China reporter-turned-scholar, surveyed 60 current and former China-based correspondents and found that three-quarters of those who had covered the anniversary had been on the receiving end of harassment […]