søndag 31. januar 2021

Uyghur Language Instruction Absent From Schools in Xinjiang’s Kelpin County

At least one county in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) no longer offers Uyghur language instruction to students, according to officials, despite being home to a mostly Uyghur population and national laws guaranteeing minorities the right to a bilingual education.

Earlier this week, RFA’s Uyghur Service received an audio recording made by a Uyghur man from the seat of Kelpin (in Chinese, Keping) county, in the XUAR’s Aksu (Akesu) prefecture, who currently lives elsewhere in China. The county, which is located at the base of the Tian Shan mountains and on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, is home to some 55,500 residents—around 97 percent of whom are Uyghur.

In the recording the man, who requested anonymity out of fear of reprisal, makes a phone call to the Bureau of Education in his hometown and asks for information about how to place the children of his neighbors, who he claims are detained in an internment camp, in school. Authorities in the XUAR are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of camps they describe as “vocational centers” since early 2017.