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Al Jazeera World

The Uighurs: External exile

Follow the story of exiled Uighur Muslims of Central Asia, many of whom fled Chinese control of their land in 1949.

Last updated: 10 Jul 2014 08:22
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This film, which first debuted on the Al Jazeera Documentary channel in early 2014, follows the story of the Uighur people of the former East Turkestan, occupied by China in 1949, and renamed Xinjiang province.

It focuses primarily on the 30,000 or so Turkish-speaking Muslim Uighurs exiled in Istanbul. In this re-version, Al Jazeera English provides further context and background about the people and their predicament.

Once the majority in Xinjiang, they still consider the region their homeland and comprise around 45 percent of the population today.

In May 2014, explosives hit a crowded market in Xinjiang, and like similar previous attacks, China blamed Uighur separatists.

Under political pressure, large numbers of Uighur refugees have moved into exile abroad with many living in Istanbul.

Angered that their cause has received so little international attention, Uighurs want not only to maintain their rich Central Asian traditions, but also to free their homeland.

Al Jazeera World  can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600. 

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