Re-education. Surveillance, repression and forced assimilation of minorities in today’s China

12 nov 2018 08:30 09:30 ENG

Breakfast forum conversation with Koen Wellens (UiO), Gerald Folkvord (Amnesty) and Adiljan Abdurihim (Norwegian Uyghur Committee) moderated by Ole Johannes Kaland (UiB). 

In collaboration with the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights we invite you to a conversation about the many reports about mass internment of members of minority ethnic groups in China's eastern region of Xinjiang.

Amnesty reports of an intensifying government campaign of intrusive surveillance, mass internment, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation in China's north-western region of Xinjiang. The targets are predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. Up to one million people are reportedly detained in mass “re-education” camps. 

Human Rights Watch reports of Muslim families forced to host government officials in their homes, teaching them about Chinese language, politics and culture.

The Economist writes writes that totalitarian determination, combined with modern technology, has produced a police state in Xinjiang, with massive abuse of human rights and a system of "apartheid with Chinese characteristics”. 

Is the Chinese “Strike Hard” campaign simply a legitimate effort to wipe out separation activities and terrorist threats or is it a campaign to create a homogeneous population in which everybody is “Chinese”? What is the resemblance to China’s assimilation campaign in Tibet?

Adiljan Abdurihim is Secretary of the Norwegian Uyghur Committee (2017 - 2021)

Koen Wellens is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oslo, where he works on Chinese society and culture with particular emphasis on ethnic minorities and religious policies, as well as Buddhism, popular religion as a practice, rural development and human rights.

Gerald Folkvord is a Political Adviser and Human Rights Education Coordinator at Amnesty International’s office in Oslo. He is Amnesty Norway’s expert on human rights issues related to security measures, policing and armed conflict, including torture and transfer of military, security and police equipment. He has also worked on issues related to economic, social and cultural rights.

Ole Johannes Kaland is a visiting researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology, UiB. Kaland is also a associate professor at the NLA University College. He is a social anthropologist with a particular fascination for issues relating to sociocultural hierarchies, mobility, youth, learning and education, migration and China. 

All are welcome - tea/coffee and croissants will be served!