Return to Transcripts main page

CNN 10

Chinese Facilities For Uyghur Muslims Stir International Controversy; Ancient Artifact Returned to Europe; A Bobcat Tries His Paw at Flagpole Sitting

Aired May 10, 2019 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz, first question we`re exploring today on CNN 10. Is China`s government holding masses of Chinese

Muslims in concentration camps? That`s what a U.S. defense official recently announced in a news briefing. The Uyghurs are a mostly Muslim

ethnic group and millions of them live in China. Historically they have not had a great relationship with the Chinese government and in recent

years the Chinese government has detained large numbers of Uyghurs, the U.S. says as many as 3 million of them in massive camps. Uyghurs who`ve

been released from these camps say they`re like prisons aimed at getting rid of Uyghur culture and religion and instilling it with propaganda from

China`s communist government.

That government has repeatedly denied holding large amounts of Uyghur citizens. China says it has set up what it calls training centers that are

necessary to prevent terrorism. And a Chinese government run newspaper says the nation`s Shin Jong region where many Uyghurs live has been quote

"shielded from the flow of international terrorism" like the attack that occurred recently in Sri Lanka. A Chinese government official suggested

that the U.S. abandon bias and quote "stop interfering in China`s domestic affairs." But an investigation by the Guardian, a British newspaper,

suggested that China has destroyed dozens of mosques since 2016 and while China`s government officially recognizes five religions including Islam,

that government is also officially atheist.

And according to the Council on Foreign Relations, an American non-profit research group, China`s government exercises control over religion.

Christian pastors for example have to undergo training to make sure they`re sermons are adapted to communist party guidelines. Reporting on the

struggles of Uyghurs has challenges all its own. China doesn`t have the same freedom of the press as America does so American reporters there have

found plenty of obstacles in their investigations.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The CNN Beijing Bureau just spent a week reporting in the western Chinese province of Shin Jong and its not an easy place to do

journalism so we wanted to show you a little bit of what we went through. But I think more importantly, tell you why that matters. Shin Jong is the

province where the U.S. says China has detained up to 2 million people nearly all Muslims in camps over the last few years. Activists say Beijing

has done that to try and eliminate Islam within its borders and ex- detainees have told CNN they were tortured inside while undergoing political indoctrination. China denies that and says these camps aren`t

prisons but voluntary vocational training centers that are being used to, not eliminate Islam, only Islamic extremism.

Now China`s government says that Shin Jong is wide open for us to freely report there. Maybe in theory but in reality that`s just not true. For

example, upon landing there our welcome gift was a government tail. We`ve already been followed by three or four guys including one of them who I`ve

seen follow us from the second we got out of the baggage area. That would be this man. He and at least a dozen others followed us every single hour

of our six day trip. Nevermore than 20 feet away in the car, in the train station, in the hotel, in the room next to mine. So it`s a bit of an odd

feeling to be in your hotel room at one in the morning and knowing that on the other side of this connecting door which leads to the room next door to

mine there`s at least three, four other guys who`ve been following us around over the past couple of days.

It felt like intimidation tactics. They wanted us to know that we were being followed and then of course there were the uniformed cops that showed

up at odd hours. It`s almost 1 a.m.. So - - so - - I know but I was sleeping. Just seems unnecessary. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry to bother you. Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So. This is what happens when you do journalism in Shin Jong. I`ve lived here for nearly four years and I`ve watched as

things have gotten tougher and tougher for foreign journalists on all types of different stories. Shin Jong is probably the most extreme example. But

beyond just being followed there were the more obvious attempts to try and make sure that we saw nothing they didn`t want us to. For example, a

highway we were on was closed for hours due to an accident no where to be seen. Not to mention spontaneous roadblocks that specifically target

foreigners and ethnic minorities. Our ID`s were checked nearly 50 times in six days and the second you book a flight or a train, the government knows

about it and you can tell that because, well, government officials are waiting for you upon arrival.

They clearly knew we were coming. They met us at the airport. They`re checking our visas. They`re telling us they want to accompany us for our

own safety but really this is just stalling tactics. They know it. We know it and yet this is the game we have to play. China`s ministry of

foreign affairs say they don`t know anything about the harassment we faced but said Shin Jong is quote "open and hospitable". The constant tails, the

constant harassment, the constant delays, they`re more than just inconvenient. They are specific tactics China`s government has employed

for a long time to prevent journalists from doing their jobs. But in the last few years, there is broad agreement in the foreign journalism

community here that it`s gotten worse, no where more so than Shin Jong. The end result is that its nearly impossible to freely report on the

hundreds of thousands of people that are likely languishing in camps right now and that means that the rest of the world can`t really see what`s going

on there. This is one of the biggest human rights stories on earth and as we saw first hand, China is actively trying to cover it up.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these landmarks is the oldest? Stonehenge, The Coliseum, King Tut`s Tomb, or (inaudible). To visit the

oldest monument on this list you`d have to travel to Salisbury Plain, England where you`d find Stonehenge.

Archeologists believe it was built in stages starting around 3,000 B.C. But part of Stonehenge has been missing since 1958 and it wasn`t until this

week that its return was announced. Stonehenge was constructed with giant sarsen stones. Sandstone blocks that are common in southern England. In

the 1950s` cracks were found in one of the sarsens, so its core was drilled out and metal rods were put in it to keep it standing. But what happened

to that core? An employee from the company that helped repair the sarsen held onto it. He put it on the wall of his office. Then the man

eventually moved to America bringing the three and a half foot core with him.

The night before he turned 90 years old, he decided to return it to England and the company that maintains the monument says it hopes the core will

help them understand more about the prehistoric structure. One thing archeologists and geologists don`t know exactly is where Stonehenge`s

stones were mined. There are at least two other cores that were drilled out of Stonehenge in the 1950s` but where those are, like the monument

itself remains a mystery.

Back in the 1920s` there was this fad called flagpole sitting. People would literally climb up on flagpoles and then just sit there, sometimes

for days or weeks. Well, this happened Thursday morning in Florida. We`re not sure exactly why the bobcat climbed to the top of an electric pole and

just sat there but it was near a stretch of road called "Alligator Alley" so maybe he was a scaredy cat. Anyway there`s not really a how to manual

on getting a bobcat off a pole but a utility worker came along with a pole of his own and after coaxing the cat a few times, the animal climbed down

the same way he climbed up.

Maybe firefighters can coax cats from trees but it`s not "cat and dry" when its "utilities". It`d be a "futility" to try to simply seize a wild cat

like "hes" a pet "Siamese". It took cat like reflexes and ambition for an animal to claw up to the "pole position" but "meow" that he`s down and safe

as a kitten they can "scat cat" you ain`t no "electrician". I`m Carl Azuz and Fridays are awesome.