I was in China doing research when I saw my Uighur friends disappearMarch 09, 2020
From February to October 2017, the government changed the rules that affected Uigher people’s social lives. For example, in a culture where asking guests to stay overnight was once common, police first began requiring overnight guests to register their stay. Then they said only daytime visitors were allowed to visit Uighur homes. Two weeks later, police prohibited Uighurs from having guests at all.
In 2017, housing restrictions on Uighurs were increased.
In March 2017, Uighur newcomers to the city were not allowed to rent homes in the city, forcing many Uighurs to return to the countryside. By June 2017, according to my fieldwork and interviews in Urumqi with Han and Uighur residents, all Uighurs – regardless of migration or registration status – were prohibited from renting homes in Urumqi.
The streets emptied of the usual markets and Uighur people.
I witnessed many Uighur shops being demolished with bulldozers in April and May of 2017.