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[Cross-posted from the WITNESS Hub Blog.]

Several media have reported violent clashes in the city of Urumqi between Uyghurs and Han Chinese (see NYTThe TimesBBC) – and now BBC Chinese is reporting that Urumqi is today under curfew.  Urumqi is in the historically Muslim region of Xinjiang, currently being referred to in the MSM as “restive”, and one of the poorest regions in China (here’s some analysis of a recent Asian Development Bank loan to the region to improve infrastructure).  These riots seem to have been sparked by a smaller dispute between Han Chinese and Uyghur workers at a local toy factory.

Some mobile phone video showing large crowds gathering in Urumqi has found its way onto YouTube, Uyghur.tv, and it’s now on the Hub.  There’s also one possibly relevant image on Flickr tagged Urumqi from today, and a couple more via a Twitpic user.  As more video gets out, we’ll keep posting it here.  In the meantime, you can follow developments via these groups, in addition to the media sources above:

● Uyghur American Association
● Uyghur Human Rights Project
● International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation

Here are the words for Urumqi (乌鲁木齐) and riots (暴动) to help in your Chinese-language video searches…

And these Uyghur-focused blogs:
● http://memettohti.blogspot.com/
● Sue Sue San
● Transnational Middle East Observer – on the Turkish president’s visit to Urumqi a week ago

Finally, here’s a bit of background on another Uyghur-related controversy, the demolition (from reading the reports, one might say “Haussmannisation”) of the Old City part of Kashgar, another city in Xinjiang:

● Danwei
● Carl Cassegard

 

[Originally posted here on the WITNESS Hub Blog.]

We don’t often get much from Greece, but 6 December seemed like a busy day for the police and protestors alike…

As I mentioned in my previous post, there were clashes between the police and “youths” in Athens yesterday, during which police shot dead one teenager.  Riots/protests spread to four further cities before an apology was issued by the Interior Minister.  Click for BBC footage.

In a separate incident, the Press Association reports that asylum seekers in Athens also rioted yesterday after one man was pushed into a canal.  And from Brabantfeatures, here’s a report (with the frankly unfortunate title of “Athens inner city racial timebomb warning”) that shows the asylum limbo experienced by many of Athens’ recent migrants, and the seeming paralysis in public policy for dealing with them: