Kashgar Uighurs Pressured to Shave

In the latest of a series of moves to suppress Uighur expression of ethnic and religious identity, Chinese government officials in are pushing male state employees to shave their facial hair. From Radio Free Asia:

Authorities in China’s westernmost city of are stepping up pressure on government employees to go clean-shaven, and the city’s large ethnic Uyghur population, whose adult males overwhelmingly sport moustaches, aren’t happy about it, residents say.

Kashgar Prefecture propaganda chief Omerjan Tohti said the tough new line against facial hair aims to make government employees look more presentable, but he acknowledged that the issue has become politicized.

[…]“Kashgar’s situation is very complicated,” Tohti said. “There are some radical elements politicizing beards and mustaches to incite separatism.”

February 21, 2009, 11:39 PM
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