tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 26, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT
07/26/19 07/26/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. trump: the ultltimate the deaths to be penalty. in other trouble administration's announced plans to reinstate the federal death penalty, lifting more than 15 year moratorium, with five executions beginning in december. the move comes despite growing opposition to capital punishment around the country. into a major setback for president trump. >> federal judge struck down one
of the most are coney and attempts by the trump access totion to deny our asylum process of the most vulnerable migrants and refugees fleeing horrific violence in her home countries. amy: and we will look at a shocking report about how china systematically is separating muslim children from their as part of what some say is an attempt to culturally reengineer chinese society. unprecedented interment campaign. it is the largest incarceration of particular ethnic minority since the holocaust. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. attorney general william barr has directed the justice department to resume the use of the death penalty, asking the
federal bureau of prisons to schedule executions for five jethro prisoners. the federal government hasn't put a prisoner to death since 2003. all five prisoners slated for death for r convicted of killing children. robert dunham, d director of the death penalty information center, said they were carefully selected. >> i think the fact that the five cases were s selected becae of factors that are irrelevant to federal jurisdiction undederscores that these cases were not chosen because thehey justified the federal death penalty. they were chosen because they were designed to inflame the public. over 160 people in the u.s. who had been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death have been exonerated since 1973. we will have moree after
headlines. in georgia, a 44-year-old mexican man died in the custody of immigration and customs enforcement before his death wednesday he complained he was experiencing abdominal pain while jailed at the stewart detention center in georgia. he was taken to a nearby hospital and died in intensive care two days later. person to dienthh since october after being jailed by eyes. his death f follows several oths and receive is at the stewart detention center including two suicides. an attorney of the group project south said "we have been raising the alarm about the horrific conditions at the stewart detention center for many years. our calls for accountability and redress have fallen on deaf years. how many more immigrants should perish at this awful place rife with human rights abuses before it's shut down?" the trump administration is threatening to impose a travel ban in guatemala less leaders
take drastic steps to curb undocumented immigration northward. on wednesday, trump announced plans to take severe actions against the guatemalan government, including enforcing tariffs. trump's threats come after guatemalan president jimmy marlis failed to sign an agreement with the united states. the agreement would have required guatemala to take in asylum seekers from around the world who originally fled to the united states and hopes of finding refuge. the guatemalan courts said no. oklahoma republican senator jim in hop said thursday plans to jail 1600 migrant children at the fort sill u.s. army base have been halted. the announcement came days after hundreds of protesters shut down the entrance to fort sill as part of a a series s of protests against the republican governor efforts to imprison migrant children. it was once a prison for native amamericans.
this is a man from eritrea who survived the disaster. thehere werere 300 of us s in boat in them water came in.. 100 people w were rescued but te rest died. the women, children, and girls all dieded. glory to god, wewe started swimimming promised seseven hous and then wewe were rescued by fishermen come almost 100 people. we have been here for two days. there hahas been a dead bobody e with us for the past two days. glory to god, he does like we were fighting debt in the sea and now on the ground. amy: it appears to be the deadliest shipwreck in the mediterranean this year. the international organization for migration says neaearly 700 people havave died attememptinge perilous crossing from north africa t to europe this year. in europe, massive heat wave
shatters record high temperatures, many of which were said during the previous heat wave just weeks ago. thermometers in paris clocked temperatures of nearly 110 degrees fahrenheit, an all-time high, with new records also set in belgium, germany, and the netherlands. in alaska, series of wildfires driven by record high temperatures has consumed more than 100 million acres of forest. similar fires in greenland and siberia have combined to make 2019's arctic wildfires unprecedented in human history. the fires come as new climate data revealed last month was the hottest june ever observed with july on pace to become earth's hottest month on record. california state officials have signed a deal with four major automakers to reduce greenhouse emissions from cars and trucks, defying a white house bid to roll back obama era fuel-efficiency standards. the deal between california and ford, honda, volkswagen and bmw would see passenger vehicles average about 50 miles per gallon by 2026. the trump administration has proposed freezing auto
efficiency at 2020 levels, or around 37 miles a gallon. auto emissssions are c califor's single-largegest source of greeeenhouse gases, and improvig fuel efficiency is critical to meeting the state's goals on combmbating climimate change. minnesota congressmember ilhan omar on thursday introduced a bill that would end the e use of toxic landfills while transitioning the u.s. to a zero waste economy as part of the green new deal. congressmember omar says the zero waste act would create a federal grant program to help local l cities invest in zero waste initiatives. >> country generates over 250 million tons of trash each year. right now most of that does not get recycled were composed were reused. instead, it ends up in landfills and incinerators fueling our climate crisis and polluting the communities who live near these
toxic sites. the only way to combat t this crisis is to move to zero waste economy. amy:y: the zero waste act is co-sponsored by democratic congressmembers deb haaland of new mexico and earl blumenauer of oregon. the senate intelligence committee concluded thursday russian hackers targeted election systems in all 50 u.s. states during the 2016 election, much wider operation and previously reported. the committee found no evidence that any votes were changed as rooms sold of the hacking -- thelt of the hacking, but report came just one day after former special counsel robert mueller told lawmakers on capitol hill that the russian government to appeared in the 2016 election in a a sweeping a systematic fashion. despitite m mueller's latest warnings, senate republicans blocked a pair of election security bills this week. moscow police have raided the homes of several opposition politicians including longtime kremlin critic at of a
planned protest tomorrow calling for free and fair elections. the raids came just weeks after election officials and moscow rejected the applications of dozens of opposition candidates toto be on the b ballot during upcoming c city council electio. ceo of ark city, the police and military supply company has stepped down from the board of directors of the whitney museum after activists waged a campaign to have him removed. the ceo of safariland was the target of nonviolent protest inside and outside the famed art museseum. activiststs say safariland playd a major role in suppressing popular movements in standing rock, ferguson, and palestine and that they supplied tear gas, fired at migrant families, seeking asylum at the u.s.-mexico border. placed authorities have the serial child sex abuser jeffery epstein on a suicide watch after he was reportedly
found in his manhattan jail cell with marks on his neck. it's not clear whether the injuries epstein received tuesday were self-inflicted. epstein has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking minors after his arrest earlier this month. in 2008, jeffery epstein was charged with molesting and trafficking dozens, and potentially hundreds, of underage girls in florida. but he ended up serving just 13 months in county jail after alex acostata, the u.s. attorney in florida -- who later became trump's labor secretary before resigning g this mononth -- cut what's been described as one of the most lenient deals for a serial child sex offender in history. meanwhile, new details have emerged linking epstein to other powerful men accused or convicted of sexual crimes. new york magazine reports jeffery epstein repeatedly conferred with former tv news host charlie rose about hiring young women as assistants. three of them were later hired, including one woman hired at age 22 who said of her experience, "i was being offered up for abuse." charlie rose has been accused by 27 women of sexual misconduct spanning three decades.
another of the women referred by epstein to rose was described in a call log as "the world's most perfect assistant. she used to work for harvey weinstein. he's lucky if he can get her." weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment by over 100 w women d faces trial on rape charges in new york in september. federal regulators have recalled textured breast implants manufactured by ththe pharmaceutical compapany allergn after linking them to an increasing number of deaths and illnesses. medical researchers say the implants can lead to a rare form of lymphoma, an immune system cancer that begins in the tissues surrounding implant sites. according to the fda, there have been 570 confirmed cases of the lymphoma worldwide, with four-fifths of the cases linked to allergan n implants. three white students at the university of mississippi face possible federal civil rights
charges after a photograph emerged showing the fraternity brothers posing with guns next to a bullet riddled sign honoring emmett till, the 14 euro african-american boy who's killing 64 years ago remains one of the most horrific examples of racial terror in the jim crow south. the photo posted to social media and one of the young man was taken at the site where emmett till's body was recovered from the tallahatchie river in 1955. it was the latest act of vandalism targeting the memorial plaque set up by the emmett till .emorial commission after similar desecration in august of last year. thursday would have been emmett till's 78 brca. and a 46 euro graphic designer and registered republican has been identified as the creator of an altered presidential seal mockcking donald trump that thefly appeared to find president at an event and washington, , d.c., this week. hetold "the washingngton post"
doeses not know how itit ended p being projected on a screen behind trump as the presidentnt addressed ththe teen n udent action summit on tuesday, but he suspects a rogue s staffer m may haveve intentionalally swapped t the imagage. this seal shows the traditional u.s. bald eagle with two heads. and in all ofws branch, the evil is clutching golf clubs and cash in its talons and the banner has s been changed to a spananish phrase tt translatates as "45 is a puppet" and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the federal government is resuming the death penalty after a more than 15 year moratorium. attorney general william barr announced thursday initially ordering the execution of five death-row prisoners beginning in december. more are expected to be scheduled. in a statement attorney general
, barr said -- "the justice department upholds the rule of law and we owe to the victims and their family to care for the sentence imposed by our justice system." pririsonersrrently 62 on federal death row, quitting white supremacist dylann roof who murdered nine black worshipers at a church in june 2015 and boston marathon bomber dzhokhar tsarnaev. federal prosecutors are expected to push for the death penalty in both cases. the federal government has not put a prisoner to death since 2003. this news comes despite a growing movement of hoping the death penalty in the u.s. advocates say they will fight the decision in court's calling it racist and immoral. 2020 candidate including senator kamala harris, bernie sanders them elizabeth warren, all have condemned the announcement. joe biden announced his opposition e earlier this week. executions will be done via lethal injection, no longer
three drug cocktail but one drug pentobarbital. , a number of states including texas and ohio have used the drug to kill prisoners but pharmaceutical companies have in recent years objected to their products being used for capital punishment. it is not known wherere the drug would be obtained for these federal executions. x for say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extends to those sentenced to death. according to the death penalty information center, over 16060 people who had been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death have been exonerated since 1973. the death penalty has been abolished in 106 countries with another 28 having moratoriums or effectively not using the practice. the united nations has called for a global ban on the practice and amnesty international calls it the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading puninishment. well, for more, we're joined by ruth friedman, director of the federal capital habeas project, which coordinates representation, represents defendants, and monitors federal death row. welcome to democracy now!
can you respond to this announcement? were you surprised by this announcement by the attorney general barr yesterday? >> we were absolutely surprised. we learned about it t at the sae time the rest of the public did. it is important to note the government has had eight years to come up with an execution protocol. there's been ongoing litigation over lethal injection. the government announced eight years ago it did not have the drugs necessary to carry out an execution. it said we will let the court know we are working on it lost of every few months they give an update to the court saying we are not ready, we don't have a protocol. yesterday they announced a protocol. at the same time, instead of going through ththjudicial process, they set execution dates on five individuals who were not part of that litigation. therefore, they were able to avoid judicial scrutiny of what they were doing.
they dropped is s suddenly yesterday and we were very surprised to see it. amy: talk about the people not only saying they are reinstating the federal death penalty, but that five people would be scheduled for execution immedidiately starting i think n december. and then this issue of there is been a three drug cocktail used, often stop states from executing prisoners because they cannot get the drugs, and now just saying that will use one drug, pentobarbital. >> the real problem is the same. if you avoid any public awareness were judicial scrutiny of where the drug came from, we don't know if it was imported or if it was manufactured. there is no sunlight in the process, no transparency. they did not go through the administrative procedures act, which is just what this kind of regulation was desigigned for so that the public would have some idea of what kind of drug they
were using -- particularly after such a hiatus. they went after five people for whom they did d not have stays f execution. as part of this ongoing litigation in the district court, they were litigating this issue and they were saying we are not readady, we are not rea. instead of sticking with that litigation, they went around it. we don't know where this drug came from. go ahead.nths ago -- several months ago the federal government released the department of justice released an opinion from the office of legal counsel saying drugs used ,n executionons are not drugs therefore, they're not subject to fda rules and scrutiny. therefore we don't know anything about the drugs they are planning to use. biasso talk about racial in the death penalty. according to the death penalty ininrmation cecenter columnist % of federal death row prisoners are black. the overall population is 14%. we know if a white person is
killed, the perpetrtrator is far momore likely to get the death penalty. >> that is riright. it shows one of the problems with the death penalty. what is leading many people in this country, puputting conservatives to turn away from the use of the death penalty. the federal death penalty is no different. it suffers from the exact same flaws, including racial discrimination. what you see is an absolute abundance of what you were talking about, particularly black men. the same issues that led this country to come up in the 90's with pololicies that people arae now turnining away from that led to mass incarceration and particularly m mass incarceratin of african american men, are seen in the federal death
penalty. i think people are starting to say, wait a second, how does this happen? i think many people of thought the federal death penalty somehow is the gold standard of the capital punishment system, and that essentially not true. it suffers from the same flaws. one of those is racial bias. another is having lawyers who are not qualified, are not able to have the time or resources or the knowledge that these kind of cases require. so you see problems in these cases that you see all over the country. falsee the use of representation by the government , government misconduct. i think you'll see more more that come to light now that the public is getting the spotlight on the federal death penalty. amy: presisident trump has pusud for increasing the use of capital punishment, including as a penalty for drug offenses. this is trump speaeaking last yr in new hampshire. pres. trump: but the ultimate penalty has to be the death penalty unless you have really,
really powerful penalties led by the death penalty for the really , we'rehers and abusers going to get nowhere. and i t tell you, we arare goino get somewhere. amy: last december, trump said he hoped china would employ the death penalty against traffickers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. ruth friededman, your response?? >> i think this is an example of how political a tool the death penalty is. if you're going to have the awesome power to make these decisions and to say you're going for the worst of the worst, then you have to have the process with fair lawyers, lawyers who are able to litigate these cases, and you can't lie or use junk science to put people on death row. have threeh row, we state second tribute almost half of all death sentences. if this were not a political system, what would that be true? dear virginia, texas, missouri
really have the worst crimes in the country? these decisions are made on the basis of politics,s, and i think that kind of grandstanding is -- amy: go ahead. >> what is used to justify these kinds of statements is it is a deterrent. wewe're going along with the wishes of the victims family. i think every single study says it is not a deterrent. you are not making people safer. itit is a use of f money toward putting people on death row in keeping people on death row, which we know is much more expensive, they can be used for solving unsolved crimes, looking at untested rape kits, and the like. as to victims families, you will find there is a big difference among families about what they want. the federal government does not always follow those wishes. since 1963, the federal
government has executed three people, including timothy for the oklahoma city federal building bombing that killed 168 people. i want to turn to bud welch who becameme a leadingng anti-death penaltyy advocates after losing his daughter julie in the 1995 oklahoma city bombing. i interviewed him on democracacy now! in 2015. >> the pununishment of the deaeh penalty is nothing more than revenge. i went through almost a year of revenge after julie's death, revenge and hate. and one cannot go through the healing process at all when you're living with revenge. and that is all the death penalty is, revenge. it is not a deterrent. bring closure to family members. there are a lot of victims family members here in oklahoma that i know because i spent 13
years on thehe board of directos of the obama city national and they were looking for the word "closure" at the time timothy mcveigh was executed in 2001. and i had been telling many of those people that the day we would take him from his cage and kill him would not be part of their healing process. and they learned that after his death, and many of those people have come full lord now and said -- come forward now it said it was a mistake for us to kill timothy mcveigh because what it did was riveted to my them all over again. amy: that was bud welch whoho lt his daughter julie in the oklahoma city bombing. he was speaking out against the death penalty. we talk about can exoneration? people who have been exonerated, over 160 people?
>> absolutely. if you look at this as a government program, would we ever be comfortable sayiying we can make this many mistakakes yt contininue on inin the same vei? you'll see more and more that. that is why people are turning away from it. they are recognizing we make too many mistakes. we can't trust our government with these kind of decisions. it is also why we are an outlier in the world. the federal government unfortunately is when you become an outlier in the country. you see death sentences going way down in large part because of the exonerations of people aderstanding that, wait second, that person had a trial, had an appeal, yet we still got it wrong step the same can be true about sentences. we can make mistakes. i think people are coming to see that more and more. unfortunately, while the rest of the world and the country is moving in one direction, the federal government is moving in another. that is unfortunate. amy: this country was going in the direction of overturning the statepenalty overall,
after state. can you give us the figures on this and what this means, reinstating the federal death penalty but perhaps states saying no? , again, why it shows this has become a political process or always has been a political process. when you look at the federal penalty, we have had statate legislalators t are dominated by republican and conservative legislators saying, we don't want this, it is not the way we want to be spending our resources were this is not how we make our citizens safer. instead you have the federal government moving into some of these areas and saying we're going to take a case of you people on it all death row who were already tried in the state, already serving very long sentences but the federal government wanted to step in. it is another misconception about the federal death penalty that it is somehow these unique federal interesest where people
are there for treason and spying and ththe like when it is nonot true. very often the connection between a federal interest is extremely attenuated nothing people are very y surprised to learn about ththe. amy: the peoe is that they will execute, they'll execute more people, they will try to, five prisoners, then have been executed on federal debt through in over 50 years. >> you have to wonder, as i said, why did they choose five people who did not have stays of execution, who were not in position to be part of a challengnge to the method d of exececution to how the federal government was planning to use its awesome power? i think that was a cynical and run decision -- and run
decision, keeping it out of the due process, keeping it out of the court scrutiny. i think that is why those people were chosen, which again, that is n not good governrnment. ththat is not transparency. that is not a willingness to say this is how we do things, this is how we make decisions. it is a political response, and that is extremely unfortunate for all of us. amy: ruth friedman, thank you for being with us, director of the federal capital habeas project, which coordinates representation, represents defendants and monitors federal death row. when we come back in a federal judge temporarily blocked president trump's plan to bar nearly all migrants from seeking asylum in the united states. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
division for luminary injunction against a rule that would block anyone who passes through a third country before arriving in the unit essays from applying for asylum. the rule would effectively stop people from honduras, el sasaador, guatememala fromom seg refufuge in ththe u.s. in his ruling, the judge highlighted the difficulties asylum seekers face in their countries like mexico instead of applying for asylum while in mexico did not appear to be a feasible alternative. judge tigar also said -- "under our laws, the right to determine whether a particular group of applicants is categorically barred from eligibility for asylum is conferred on congress." the preliminary injunction came just hours after a federal judge in washington, d.c., but the new silent rule -- a phone numeral stand. for more, we are joined by baher azmy, legal director of the center for constitutional rights. he directs all litigation and advocacy around issues related to the promotion of civil and human rights. explain what happened. this is a real victory for you
and for migrants. >> this is among the most for coney and and dangerous attacks on our asylum system and in addition, asylum-seekers to date . what the judge recognized is congress has thought long and hard about how to manage our southern border and the asylum thatss and has ensured individuals aren't uttered to access the asylum process and can only be denied if they have really strong connections to third countries, not merely transmitting through. only tobe barred in limited circumstances. one, if someone has "firmly resettled another country" -- that is they spent a long time in a country, have status, and have all sorts of safety like housing and employment, not merely touching foot in the third country. or where we have what are called
safe third country agreement, and willie have one, with canada, which turn on legally robust asylum systems in both countries. in that situation, say a victim a person of egypt who have in a pastor candidate on the way to the u.s. could be returned to canada but not to egypt. but what the trump administration would do here is sin any migrant from guatemala, honduras, or el salvador back to the persecutors when you have to transit from mexico. significanceut the of what the trump administration announced just this week. we are talking about massive shifts in policy. relentless attack on the very idea of asylum. i think it reflects, someone else has said this, a desire to inflict cruelty and degradation
and the sort of muscular lee , latinese people americans primarily, are not entitled to any rights this country is bound to respect. i think it actually speaks to a deeper phenomenon here, which is largely a rejection of the entire post-world war ii human rights consensus, this idea that we are part of a multinational system that is bound to respect the rights of vulnerable people or the idea that rights belong to individual humans as opposed to turning on citizenship in a strong state. i think they simply reject the very idea of human rights. amy: i want to turn to a clilipf a honduran father with his young son who hoped to apply for asylum in the u.s. and instead were forced to stay in mexico.
us mexican papers, but we don't have anyone here to guide us, to help us. we don't really know what it is going to be like here. the united states did not want to give us asylum or anything. they throw was in the streets. mexico? mexicoco is supposedly helping s but things are getting worse because we don't have any way to pickck ourselves up. i have been traveling wiwith my son asas a migigrant for a montd a half. we came by bus, on foot, and catching rides in cars that pick us up. the situation has been really difficult. amy: so that is milton garcia describing his very difficult situation and have judge tiger grilling the justice department attorney scott stewart about the lack of protection for asylum seekers in mexico and guatemala, countries likely to be transit
on the way to the u.s.s. >> i think the administration's stated justification for the rule among other things is, well, mexico can handle these asylum-seekers. the evidence was very obvious, and we all know, that mexico cannot. multiple human rights organizations that spend time in mexico and other countries recognize they don't have the systems to process asylum, and they routinely turn people back to their home countries. the point of relying on mexico in this way does to maximize cruelty and to deter anyone or attempt to deter people from fleeing their desperate conditions, which they have not been successful on because conditions are so horrific. amy: what is going to happen now? you have one judge in washington and says, yes, we can afford, and you have judge tigar saying no. tigar's ruling
prevails and the will be further proceedings in the appellate court in both cases. it may ultimately wind up in the suprememcourt listst of amy: and remain in mexico policy? >> that is another really cruel policy that says even if you want to enter the u.s., if you can make it into the u.s. and make an application for asylum while your petition is being adjudicated, go back to mexico and wait in really dangegerous condnditions on the other side f the border. amy: any of the story about guatemala for the president trump wanting to sign this third-party agreement with guatemala -- water mueller would try to getts who into the united states from anywhere in the world and would send them to guatemala. the president are alice wanted to sign it but the guatemalan judges in the country of guatemala, there was an uproar last week and they said, no, so morales did not come to washington to sign the agreement and now trump is viciously
trying to go after the whole cocountry. >> it is absurd, reflexive, irrational. the idea that an under resourced country like water mueller c cod manage a migration crisis when guatemala itself has a humanitarian crisis that is causing its citizens to flee is absurd. that again, the cruelty and punishment is the point. amy: i want to thank you so much for joining us, baher azmy, legal director of the center for constitutional rights. he directs all litigation and advocacy around issues related to the promotion of civil and human rights. when we come back, china is rushing to build boarding schools for children -- muslim children -- from the uyghur community who deliberately removed from their families, as well as in their language and cultures. stay with us. ♪ [music brbreak]
according to a new report commissioned by the bbc, china is rushing to build boarding schools where children are deliberately removed from their families, language, and culture. this comes as an estimated one million adults from the uyghur community are being imprisoned in camps that china claims are vocational training centers designed to combat extremism. many of the children who have detained parents or other family members are more vulnerable to removal. last week nermeen shaikh and i spoke to independent researcher adrian zenz, who did the research for the bbc report. he's an expert on china's minority policies in xinjiang and tibet. we also spoke to rushan abbas, a uyghur-american activist, and founder and director of campaign for uyghurs. after she spoke out against china's repression of the uyghurs last year, her aunt and sister disappeared. her aunt has since been released but there is still no news of her sister. i started by asking adrian zenz
what he found in his research. folks my findings are very disturbing and they really point in urging campaign on the side of the chinese in xinjiang to handle and deal with the fallout of having detained so many minority adults, especially uyghurs in the region of xinjiang. with so many cases of both parents in detention, the children are being put up into boarding facilities. there's been a multimillion dollar campaign to construct boarding schools the go all the way down to kindergarten, and most recently, even a drive to establish nurseries for infants in sunlight factories where they're putting women to work. nermeen: can you give us a sense, he set a multimillion dollar campaign. who is funding this campaign >> this is funded by beijing. xinjiang is traditionally a
fairly poor region, even know it has mineral resources. about 80% of the budget of xinjiang is funded by beijing, especially the kabir best security, police, technology, and the interment campaign. amy: can we step back and you tell us, place the uyghur community force. tell us who they are, how many people are there, and what you're calling cultural genocide policies in baltimore put into place. >> the uyghurs are 11 million to 12 million strong, so almost twice as many as tibetans. they're much more similar in language, kolter, and religion to the turks another central asians. most of them are muslim and that many more similarities to central asia than to beijing. that is also the trouble. they don't necessarily feel they belong to china. in 1949 bys invaded
the army. now the trouble is beijing has been trying to govern this region and integrate these people into the chinese country and into the chinese language and culture, but the uyghurs heaven resisting, oftentimes with violent attacks. now the chinese are launching an unprecedented campaign of putting possibly one million or more of the uyghurs and other minorities into so-called reeducation camps where there being brainwashed a and culultuy some later, being told not to believe in the religion. they're being taught the chinese language. nermeen: you wrote a recent these for "the new york times" saying the chinese, and his party's current reeducation drive is an upgraded version of the cultural revolution. i would like you to talk about that and also that xinjiang's government, the ultimate goal of the government is to exercise "complete ideological
supremacy." could you elaborate on that and explain what some of the reasons are that uyghurs can be detained? you say in the piece, and includes things like putting too much gas and one's car, refusing to smoke in public, or receiving phone calls from relatives overseas. >> yes, a very good question. isorder to understand what going on, we need to zoom out to the wider picture. the chinese communist already is really waging a war against any competing ideology, especially organized religions. this includes islam, christianity, to an increasing extent, indigenous chinese religions. in the cultural revolution in the 1970's, the communist party really try to eradicate traditional belief correct traditional customs, traditional culture, and traditional religious beliefs. now we're seeing president xi
jinping, a well-funded and technologically advanced campaign to control at the miminoritieses, religious belies quitting house churches, minorities such as tibetans and uyghurs living in a police state were you have cameras on every street corner. artificial intelligence, huge data streams flowing into databases that are being used for predictive policing to think this person is behaving different than they did yesterday. examples of people who did not enter through the front door but the house door. -- bacackdoor. thisis is not presented intermet worse than xinjiang, ever in history of china, and the largest incarceration of a particular eththnic minority sie the holocaust.
nermeen: it is remarkable that this crackdown is occurring at the same time as china is investing so heavily in muslim countries through their belt and road initiative. 37 countries have written to the u.n. in support of china's policy in xinjiang, and especially striking that no muslim country has signed the other letter protesting the treatment of the uyghur population, but a number of muslim countries have signed a letter, including saudi arabia, pakistan, oman, and the united arab emirates, supporting the policies against the uyghur community. so could you talk about this jinping andy xi increasing dependence of a number of countries, muslim countries included and countries across africa, on china, both for aid as well as trade? >> china has been waiting for a
long time, i believe, to step up to the international stage and to take up what he believes to be its rightful place. means the middle country or the middle kingdom. it used to be the center of its world and it seeks to be that again. the communist party is really embarking on an unprecedented global inference campaign with the ultimate goal of ensuring its own long-term survival. it does that by exerting unprecedented in france in the world, particularly in the developing world. you look at the letter and the counter letter, the letter supporting china's atrocities in xinjiang was mostly signed by developing c countries. as you s said, many of them musm majority countries, basically betrayaying the muslim b brothe, the uyghurs in xinjiang. the other r counter letter was mostly signed by western nations. china was proudly boasting, look, we have isolated the west.
the west has no clout over these developing countries, but we have garnerered the support of 7 countries, most of them developing nations. this shows the link between xinjiang and the initiative by the president. it is important understand what is happening in xinjiang has significance not only for china's wider crackdown on religion and its entire country, but for china's exports of an authoritarian ideology and the related advance technology of surveillance and policing into countries around the world. nermeen: who are the belton road countries? >> trying to go back to the byient times, trade links land and also to an extent by sea between mainly the middle east and europe on the one hand and china on the other hand. so we have all of central asia,
the entire middle east, southeast asia -- china is trying to expand the picture, building on the ancient analogy african countries are included -- even antarctica has been made part of the belton road initiaiative. amy: earlilier this year, human rights watch reveal new details about how china is carrying out mass uyghur surveillance in in part things to a mobile app that lets authorities monitor the muslim population. this video was produced by human rights watch theegins wiwi the uyghghur student.. peopleto be one of those like i've got nothing to hide, just a student, but it was very wrong. there are targeting everyone. asas long as you are going out f yoyour house youou are being surveill.. >> in n rthwestern china, 13 millioioturkic muslims are
enduring extraordinary suppression at the hands of the chinese e government.. authoritieies are buildiding a surveieillance state t tbe up to ack their every me. >> across the northwestern prinince of njiang,n esmated onmillion inese muims have vanished into o vast netetwork of detetention centers for what china calls reeducation. >> the region is it in its most intense government surveillance in theheorld. wouldldave a000 meters police checkpoint. onopop of th, ththere e all l of theschececkpnts wherever you go.
surveillance technology. it is becoming a world leader in terms of facial recognition that relies on three-dimensional technology and then big data analysis must smart city technolology means you a are covevering an entitire cityy in camera, surveillance, and police information systems and databases. all of the checkpoints the uyghurs have to go through, they swipe their r id, there isis a facial r recognition scan. all of thiss informationon is bg combined. one e the most scary aspectctss the vivisiting relativives progm whwhereby hundrereds of thousan, even a millionon of chinesee governmentnt o officials on a regular basis are visiting the staying uyghurs, overnight, asking them questions . official government documents even say this with the local people cannot hide what they really feel or think.
they're asking questions. to eat andhem pork see if they will take it or not. as a muslim, they're not supposed to do t that. this way the chinese are trying to find people really believe in islam, if they're conforming to communist ideology or not. all of the information that they gather during these very intrusive family visits is being entered into this policeapp that human rights watch was able to reverse engineer. amy: i would like to bring in rushan abbas, a uyghur-american activist, founder and director of campaign for uyghurs. after she spoke out against china's repression of the uyghurs last year, her aunt and sister disappeared. her aunt has since been released but there is still no news of her sister. her recent article in usa today is headlined "i've fought china's slow-motion genocide of uighur muslims. now, my family are victims." rushan abbas, welcome back to
democracy now! could you tell us your own response to this report that came out and explain why you say there is a cultural genocide happening? >> the uyghurs are being targeted because of our ethnicity and our culture and our language and our religion. everything that makes uyghur people unique is being treated as a crime. the chinese ambassador told the camps are set up to make the uyghur peoplple normal p persons. so allll of ththis unique cultul identity of the uyghur people are making uyghurs abnormal people and our religion and our cultlture is being called illegl in china today, , as islam is cocompletely being banned. therefore, the religion and the culture and the language are
being treated as a disease. amy: when you hear about these reports of surveillance, facial recognition software, control of the uyghur population, what do you understand has been taking place, from your reports from within, with your family still there? and ouryghur people homeland is set up as a testing ground, as a pilot program. the chinese government, the beijing regime is using this against the uyghurs because they see the uyghurs as a threat. sragically, the land the uyghur are sitting on, the original owners, is the epicenter for the bilton road initiative, thee gateway to central asia to europe and africa. therefore, they're using the surveillance system, high-tech
cameras, facial recognition, software, and now they're exporting to the wororld. so what is happening in xinjiang justhat is happening is not there to suppress the uyghur people. this is the security threat and human rights threat. it is a threat for our freedom all around the world. i if you coululd say, this is remarkable report that you produced with the bbc, how did you get access to this information? >> i've spent a lot of time analyzing government documents and government reports and there's really a trove of information that can be found at different levels of the government's own administration were there talking about the policy. of course, you have to piece things together because there is not one document that says we are putting thousands of kids
were both parents are detained into particular places for full-time care. you have to look at this from five or six different angles, find strong evidence. there's massive construction of facilities that can put children into full-time care. there are policies of how to deal with the fallout of both parents detained that schools have to pay particular attention is says to the mental state of students were both parents are detained. .chools must monitor these kids governments are called upon to monitor the situation, to visit these families almost daily. so you confuse things together and you get a strong picture.. tomeen: rushan abbas, i want talk about another piece of extremely troubling news that emerged from china. last month and independent tribunal concluded thatt members of marginalized communities, including uyghur muslims and otother practitioners, are being harvested for profit, sometimes
when patients are still alive. the china tribunal collected experts.from one said, "the conclusion shows very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways, and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those for the time being running a country was one of the oldest civilizations known to modern man." rushan abbas, can you say what you know abouthis forced organ donations? >> the airport has a special line dedicated for uyghur people. go back to three or four years forced was mandatorily
uyghur people to give blood and they selected the uyghur people's dna. we were wondering what this was for. later on we realized that they had -- they were advertising organs of the uyghur muslims. the illegal organ harvesting is also making the uyghur people victims of the illegal organ harvesting that they're being captain the camps today. amy: rushan abbas and adriaian zenz. we will have a link to his report at democracynow.org. happy 60th birthday to kpfk in los angeles. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for our year-long paid video production fellowship here in new york city. learn more and apply at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for
[man singing in spanish] sami: finnish crooner reijo taipale sang about the land of fairy tales in the year of 1963. by thehen, finlandnd had alrdydy been intoxicated by tango for 3 decades. in the early days of the twentieth century, tango drifted to the nordic shores on e backs of sailors andnd traveling music men. i first got interested in this music when i h