Fears for Uighur culture as scholars vanish in China crackdown

first_imgIt has been almost two years since Bugra Arkin’s father Aierken was abruptly snatched from his home in China’s troubled Xinjiang region by national security agents.Aierken Yibulayin’s publishing firm — one of the biggest in the region — translated thousands of books into Uighur before he was detained in October 2018. Arkin has not heard from him since.”My father had a strong impact on the Uighur publishing industry, and that made him a target of the Chinese government,” said Arkin, who lives in California. “This is very unacceptable and our lives were literally destroyed.”He is not the only one.At least 435 Uighur intellectuals have been imprisoned or forcibly disappeared since April 2017, according to the Uyghur Human Rights Project.The rounding up of Uighur linguists, scholars and publishers is seen by overseas advocacy groups as part of a campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to erase the ethnic group’s identity and culture and assimilate it into the dominant, Mandarin-speaking Han population. ‘Don’t know where he is’ Alim last heard from an acquaintance that his father’s trial, which began in January, had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but fears he will soon be sentenced and jailed.His mother, who lives in Xinjiang, “wouldn’t dare talk” about Hasani’s arrest.”I certainly felt very bad and didn’t know how to express it. For a long time I couldn’t concentrate on my work either,” Alim said.All 11 linguists in his father’s work unit have also been detained, including 64-year-old Hemdulla Abdurahman, who was snatched in January 2019, according to his son Yashar Hemdulla.”In March 2019, I was told my father had been taken to a ‘hospital’ … but the family acquaintance on the call mimed handcuffs on her wrists,” said Hemdulla, who lives in Norway. “I do not know where he is now.”Hemdulla knows several intellectuals whose relatives say they were first detained in camps, then given long-term jail sentences, and he is concerned his father might suffer the same fate.”At the time, I found it extremely hard. I am an only son, my mother is all alone and my father is not young — how much more can he take?” said Hemdulla.While authorities said in December that all people from vocational centers have “graduated”, researchers say they have been gradually moved to other forms of detention.Many have been prosecuted and given prison sentences of up to 20 years, said Gene Bunin, a researcher on Uighur issues and creator of the Xinjiang Victims Database.”This has partially been a trend in the last one or two years, with the camps being emptied,” Bunin said, estimating that at least 300,000 people remain incarcerated.Fears have also been raised over jailed Uighur intellectual Ilham Tohti, who was awarded a top human rights prize by the European Parliament — but has not been seen in years. Renowned Uighur linguist Alim Hasani was taken by authorities in August 2018 during a Beijing work trip, according to his son Ershat Alim.Alim believes that his father, a retired division head of the Xinjiang Ethnic Language Work Committee, was detained for his research, which aimed to standardize Uighur-Han translations.Hasani, who compiled several dictionaries, was a Communist Party member whose projects had previously been approved by the state and won awards.”When I first heard that my father was arrested, I never once thought that this could happen to him. He must have been very surprised as well,” said Alim, who lives in France.More than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities have been held in re-education camps in Xinjiang following a spate of ethnic violence, according to rights groups.Chinese authorities describe the facilities as vocational education centers where Uighurs learn Mandarin and job skills to steer them away from extremism.In a statement, China’s foreign ministry said: “The so-called notion of ‘imprisoning Uighur intellectuals to extinguish Uighur culture’ is complete rumor-mongering and slander.”center_img ‘Sad and angry’ Uighur literary critic and writer Yalqun Rozi was among the first wave of intellectuals to be detained in October 2016 after hardline Xinjiang Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo took office.His relatives later discovered that Rozi had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in January 2018 for “inciting subversion of state power” — a vague charge commonly used for political prisoners. Authorities suggested that Rozi’s detention was related to his role in compiling Uighur literature textbooks that had been in use for more than a decade, said his son Kamalturk Yalqun. All his father’s textbook collaborators were also detained around this time.Since 2012, bilingual Mandarin-Uighur education has gradually been applied in schools in Xinjiang, with the aim of reaching 2.6 million students. Prior to that, classes were mostly taught in Uighur and other minority languages.”By abolishing these textbooks and eliminating Uighur language education altogether, the next generation of Uighur youth will have no way to find their link with Uighur culture,” said Yalqun.”It is a way for China to eliminate the entire Uighur identity and assimilate them to become… people that speak Chinese, think Chinese and don’t know their own history or culture. That makes me sad and angry at the same time.” Topics :last_img read more

Syracuse’s surge this season rooted in Heinz Field locker room

first_imgThe kick-start to Syracuse’s upswing this fall began in the Heinz Field visitors locker room 11 months ago. After the Orange’s season-ending loss at Pittsburgh last November — the end of a second-straight 4-8 season for SU — head coach Dino Babers did not allow any other coaches in the locker room. He spoke to only the players, then he asked the seniors to leave and addressed only players who would return this year.Babers’ message: “Everybody wasn’t on board.”“There’s the saying, ‘What you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say,’” Babers said Monday morning. “They were saying the right things, they weren’t doing the right things. And I think I have a team full of guys doing the right things.“And this is where we’re at.”Where Syracuse is at is a significantly more opportune position than that of last year. Through eight games, SU (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) has the same record as it did this time a year ago. But the 2017 Orange have beaten the defending national champion, stayed within striking distance against Top 25 opponents in LSU, North Carolina State and Miami on the road, and has not lost by more than 11 points all year despite facing one of the most difficult schedules in the country.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Saturday afternoon at Florida State, Syracuse will have a chance to snap a nine-game losing streak against FSU and beat the plunging Seminoles (2-5, 2-4) for the first time since the teams’ first meeting in 1966. This Syracuse upswing, Babers said, is rooted in the Heinz Field locker room last November.“When we lost that Pittsburgh game, and the way we lost it, that was a very emotional time for the team and I,” Babers said. “… I think that’s where we planted the seed, put some fertilizer down and then coming break in spring ball, and the things we did in the summer, we needed to water it and put a lot of sun on it.”Two weeks ago, Syracuse thrust into the national spotlight with the Clemson victory, one of the biggest in program history. At then-No. 8 Miami, one of only five remaining undefeated teams in FBS, Syracuse pulled to within one point in the fourth quarter.Babers said it all traces back to the Pitt game last year. Shortly after that game, Babers looked at the podium in front of him and paused before his postgame press conference.“I gotta stand here after all that?” he said jokingly.By “all that,” Babers meant a near four-hour affair that included 165 plays, 1,312 yards, nine punts, 19 kickoffs, 20 touchdowns, 58 first downs and Syracuse’s defensive collapse. The Orange broke the program record for points allowed, 76, a mark that stood for 125 years.The defensive miscues were a microcosm of the season. In 2016, SU finished 122nd out of 128 FBS teams in total defense and lost its final four games of the season.“It’s going to get better,” Babers said after the game.“The thing you have to remember is that this year the players were thinking and next year they won’t be,” Babers added.Now, here is Syracuse, two wins away from guaranteed bowl eligibility and only 2.5-point underdogs on the road at Florida State, the No. 3 team in the Preseason Top 25.Other notes from Babers’ weekly press conference:Babers said sophomore defensive lineman Kendall Coleman probably could have played at Miami on Oct. 21 at about 65 percent. “I think we’re going to get Coleman back,” for the FSU game, Babers said.As for fellow defensive lineman Josh Black: “We’ll have to see about Joshua.”Graduate transfer safety Jordan Martin has played the last two games with a cast, contributing mostly to special teams. “I don’t think Jordan’s going to be able to be with us. I think he’s going to be pretty much done.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on October 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more

DOUBLE FOR DONEGAL – ALL-IRELAND GLORY FOR INISHOWEN OSCAR TRAYNOR TEAM AND U13 SCHOOLBOYS SIDE

first_imgSOCCER: Donegal have clinched an incredible All-Ireland double with the Inishowen Oscar Traynor representative side and Donegal U13 schoolboys side winning their respective national titles.Inishowen defeated Limerick 2-1 in a closely fought encounter to ensure they won the Oscar Traynor competition for the first time ever. Goals from Stephen and Kieran McDaid ensured Inishowen would clinch an historic All-Ireland success.Kevin McHugh’s Donegal Schoolboys side avenged their 2014 All-Ireland final defeat to Waterford on penalties by overcoming the same opponents earlier this afternoon.The Donegal side won the All-Ireland courtesy of a superb goal from Finian O’Donnell to win 1-0.Incredibly, McHugh’s side have never been beaten competitively in two years. They won the Foyle Cup in June and were undefeated throughout the entire defeat and didn’t lose a match last year until Waterford eventually overcame McHugh’s young charges on penalties.Well done to the players, management and all the staff associated with both sides on a fantastic achievement for Donegal soccer.  DOUBLE FOR DONEGAL – ALL-IRELAND GLORY FOR INISHOWEN OSCAR TRAYNOR TEAM AND U13 SCHOOLBOYS SIDE was last modified: May 24th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGAAInishowennewsOscar TraynorSFAIsoccerSportlast_img read more