China News | Uyghur Muslims

Uyghurs face ban on Muslim names for children as China celebrates Xinjiang’s 60th anniversary
  • The Tokhola (Tuohula) Village Communist Party in Xinjiang’s Hoten prefecture reportedly announced the ban on 22 popular Muslim names for Uyghur children.
  • Children whose names are on the list must have their parents officially change their name or else risk exclusion from public schooling.
  • The announcement comes as China celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region following the 1949 annexation of East Turkestan, which has prompted severe criticism from Uyghur leaders.

Read more:
Chinese Authorities Ban Muslim Names Among Uyghurs in Hoten” (Radio Free Asia)
Statement by the World Uyghur Congress

(Image Credit: Sina Webo via Radio Free Asia)

Mauritius News | Mental Illness

Mauritius announces review of mental health legislation to protect patients with disabilities and mental illnesses
  • The government announced through a press release that it would begin addressing deficiencies in healthcare treatment for people with mental illnesses.
  • The Minister of Health and Quality of Life pointed specifically to psychiatric care, seniors, and the social security of people with mental illnesses as targets for examination.
  • Mauritius’s mental healthcare budget currently comprises 9.7% of the government’s 9.7 billion rupee ($253,809,090) budget.

“It is our firm conviction at the Ministry that dignity for any patient must mean that the patient is being treated with kindness and compassion.”

Read more:
Mental Health Care Act to be reviewed to better address mental health issues” (Republic of Mauritius Government Information Service)

Cambodia News | Montagnard Christians

Cambodia orders deportation of waves of Montagnards fleeing Vietnam
  • Montagnards, an ethnic confederation of indigenous peoples from Vietnam, have fled what they report has been religious and ethnic harassment and persecution at the hands of Vietnamese police.
  • Cambodia has only granted asylum to 13 of the approximately 200 who have crossed the border, designating most as economic migrants and scheduling their deportation.
  • The refugees have turned to the U.N.’s refugee organization for assistance, alleging that Vietnamese police have subjected them to ongoing interrogations and detentions because of their Christian affiliation.

Read more:
Montagnards Flee Persecution in Vietnam For Unsure Future in Cambodia” (Radio Free Asia)
Group of Montagnards heads back to Vietnam” (The Phnom Penh Post)
Vietnam: End ‘Evil Way’ Persecution of Montagnard Christians” (Human Rights Watch)

(Image Credit: Radio Free Asia)

Tanzania News | Burundian Refugee Women

Burundian refugee women in Tanzania face reduced access to reproductive healthcare as relocation looms
  • In Nyarugusu, the third-largest refugee camp in the world, an estimated 20,000 of the 100,000 residents are in need of reproductive care.
  • Overcrowding at the camp has led to plans for relocating a portion of the refugees to new camps, and with no health clinics currently built there, as many as 10,000 could face disruptions in healthcare.
  • More than 200,000 have fled Burundi in the wake of political unrest, with half of the refugees currently residing in Tanzania.

Read more:
10,000 Refugees Are About To Lose Access To Reproductive Care” (BuzzFeed News)
Thousands of Burundi Refugees to Move Out of Overcrowded Camp in Tanzania Amid Crisis” (VICE News)
Burundi Refugee Situation (UNHCR)

(Image Credit: Daniel Hayduk/AFP/Getty Images, via BuzzFeed News)

Lebanon News | Activists & Critics

Protesters clash violently with police during Beirut demonstration
  • Police turned water cannons and tear gas on protesters after a security barrier was removed in downtown Beirut, and were in turn met with stones and other hurled objects from protesters.
  • At least seven protesters were wounded and 35 treated for tear gas inhalation, while 27 were arrested, according to protest organizers.
  • Protests have been ongoing in the country over the last three months after Lebanon’s main landfill was closed, causing a trash crisis in the country noted in the name of the protest organizers, You Stink.

Read more:
Police attack on protesters triggers fresh clashes in Downtown Beirut” (The Daily Star)
Tear gas and water cannons fired at Lebanese protesters” (Al Jazeera)
Beirut protest turns violent, politicians postpone talks” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Mohammad Akazir/The Daily Star)

Malaysia News | Transgender

Challenge to ban on cross-dressing dismissed by Malaysian high court on technicality
  • Malaysia’s Federal Court rejected the challenge to the state of Negeri Semblian’s ban on cross-dressing, overturning a lower-court decision striking down the ban.
  • The case brought by three transgender individuals was dismissed by the court on a technicality, saying the case should have first been taken up by the Federal Court.
  • The rejection comes as Islamic conservatism increases in the Malay-majority country, with Shariah law a difficult hurdle for gender and sexual minorities to clear.

Read more:
Court of Appeal wrong to declare religious law unconstitutional, rules Federal Court” (The Malaysian Insider)
Transgender case: Federal Court overturns Court of Appeal’s decision” (Astro Awani)
Malaysia court upholds ban on cross dressing by transgender Muslims” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Olivia Harris/Reuters)