Global Challenges
Breakfast forum

Surveillance, repression and forced assimilation in China

War on terror or nation-building in Xinjiang?

Chinese flag


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 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”? Is there a resemblance to China’s assimilation drive in Tibet?

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

Koenraad 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.

The breakfast forum will be led by guest researcher at UiB Ole Johannes Kaland (NLA University College in Bergen / Brunel University, London). He is a social anthropologist working on issues relating to sociocultural hierarchies, mobility, youth, learning and education, migration and China. 

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