This Week in the World | 10.15.18
In Xinjiang, an autonomous region within Western China, officials have legalized “vocational training centers” for Uighur Muslims in the area. Uighur Muslims, with a language and culture similar to Turkey, make up 45% of the population, but more Chinese have been immigrating to the area. Human rights groups around the globe have criticized the legitimization of these centers, saying that over a million people have been rounded up and sent to these camps. Reports of physical and mental abuse have come from former teachers and detainees, saying Muslims are being made to renounce their faith and recite patriotic songs, under threat of not receiving food. Chinese officials have denied the claim that a million people have been sent to these camps, but say that the camps keep Xinjiang safe from Islamic extremism. The UN has requested monitors in Xinjiang, but China has refused, keeping Xinjiang under media lockdown.
Police in Libya captured an Egypt’s Most Wanted jihadist last Monday in Darnah. Hisham Ashmawi is connected to several terrorist plots in Egypt, including an attempted murder of the former Interior Minister, the successful killing of a top public prosecutor, as well as an ambush that killed a dozen Egyptian policemen. Egypt has been working with the Libyan group the LNA in the eastern part of Libya to clear Darnah of terrorists, since there were jihadists who were linked to terrorist activity both in Libya and in Egypt. The LNA has agreed to extradite Ashmawi to Egypt after their own investigation was complete.
Poland appointed 27 new judges to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, despite pressure from the EU to not do so. Poland’s Law and Justice political party had lowered the retirement age for judges earlier this year in an attempt to improve efficiency and remove the last of the communist-era judges from the bench. When this motion was passed, Polish protesters as well as the EU voiced concerns that it made it easier for the majority conservative government to appoint new judges, weakening the power of the court and making it less independent from political parties.
One day after the resignation of a Washington DC bishop, Pope Francis has defrocked two bishops from Chile. Francisco José Cox Huneeus and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández were linked to sexual assault cases of minors, and the Vatican has said that this decision cannot be reversed. With the two stripped of their duties, they are the 4th and 5th bishops to be removed from their position since this summer. Over the past few months, the Catholic church has been dealing with multiple reports from the United States, Germany, and Australia of thousands of cases of child abuse, and this summer 34 of Chile’s bishops offered to resign after a report came out about the cover up of child abuse cases.
A couple in a suburb of Mexico City have been charged in connection with 10 murders, with officials saying they could be tied to ten more. Last September, Nancy Huitron went missing with her two-month old baby after dropping her other two children off at school. Juan and Patricia Carlos were known to sell clothes to Nancy and two other single mothers who had also gone missing over the last few months. After the murders, the couple would then sell the body parts, and they sold Huitron’s baby, who has been recovered and is with her grandmother. Murders of women are common and not often prosecuted within Ecatepec, the state in which the crime took place, but the gruesome nature of these crimes have led to protests.