In 2014, the Committee to Protect Journalists singled out China as the world's worst jailer of journalists. Uyghurs, a Turkic people indigenous to China's northwest, make up a shocking proportion of those in jail.
As people across the globe shared their hopes and dreams for 2013 with families and friends at the turn of the New Year, reports that Uyghur writer Nurmemet Yasin had died in Shaya prison 'sometime in 2011' were still unconfirmed.
The Book Fair and the British Council had an opportunity to uphold cherished British values of free speech and send a strong message to the Chinese Communist Party that Beijing cannot export its censorship to a free western democracy. But they chose not to do so.
If the Chinese government is serious about bringing prosperity to all ethnicities in East Turkestan with its new development plans, it needs to work aggressively to end open discrimination in the employment sector for Uyghurs.
All the talk of the Arab Spring painfully reminds us that life for the Uighur people resembles a cruel, endless winter. That is why the United States must use the occasion of future Chinese President Xi's visit to take the lead, and begin the thaw we pray for.
There are two choices before the Chinese people: 1) continue the repression of Uyghurs under the pretext of state security, or 2) stand with democratic Uyghurs against the Chinese Communist Party's policies of self-preservation.
This July 5 will be the second anniversary of Urumchi Massacre. But how many massacres do we need to face from the Chinese regime in order to live with human dignity, enjoy our basic freedoms and democratic rights?
The Ma administration might turn its back on human rights because of narrow realpolitik, but it shouldn't prevent Taiwanese civil society from promoting these values by interacting with global activists.
The Internet is admired as a tool for freedom of speech and citizen participation the world over. But in China, and particularly in East Turkestan, it is used to root out critics of government policies.
This Human Rights Day should be more than just an opportunity for politicians to put forth toothless platitudes but instead a time to defend actively the principles in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Decisions about placement of prisoners are made based on their level of compliance. It has nothing to do with alleged terrorist activities or crimes, since no one -- you got it -- no one has been convicted of anything.