China accused of  targeting Uyghurs living abroad

The international community has been actively raising their concerns regarding the "genocide" of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Published: 30th December 2021 03:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2021 03:21 PM   |  A+A-

Uighur, Uyghur Muslims

A supporter of China's Muslim Uighur minority shows a picture of her relative jailed in China. (File Photo| AFP)


TOKYO: Human rights violations of Uyghurs living in Xinjiang in the Western province of China is not a new story.

Many reports suggest that the Chinese government is ill-treating the Uyghur Muslims, subjecting them to forced labour, torture and psychological stress.

According to Kyodo News, an Uyghur woman who has returned to China two years ago is suspected to have died. Mihray Erkin, 31, from Kashgar in China's Xinjiang region had been studying in a Japanese language school and teaching Uyghurs the Japanese language for five years before returning to China.

In June 2019, Mihray learned that her father had been sent to a detention camp. Her close acquaintances shared that Mihray would often feel remorseful and anxious about the fact that she has come abroad while leaving her family in China to suffer in detention camps.

Kyodo News reported that the case is the same for many Uyghur students in Japan. These Uyghur students have spoken about the cases involving their family members but now they have become intimidated after receiving updates from the Chinese authorities via the WeChat app at regular intervals of time.

Mihray's friends said that she had become depressed, stopped attending school and would often scream in the night out of fear.

The international community has been actively raising their concerns regarding the "genocide" of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Several countries including US and Netherland have declared Chinese action in the region as "genocide".

Several human rights NGOs and organizations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also issued reports documenting the Chinese treatment of its minorities. Meanwhile, China, on multiple occasions, has categorically denied these accusations.

While addressing the issue of Uyghurs' human rights violation, UN human rights chief Michele Bachelet, early this month, said, "I continue to discuss with China modalities for a visit, including meaningful access, to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region."

Recently, Joe Biden signed legislation banning products made in the Chinese Xinjiang region citing "Oppression" on the Uygurs and other minorities. Beijing, however, has denied all the accusations and the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress said that the US is grossly interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.

Mihray's uncle Abduweli Ayup, 48, a prominent Uyghur writer exiled in Norway and is considered a "danger" to the Chinese government. He said that he insisted Mihray to not return to China but it was of no avail. Ayup further said that Mihray had a strong desire to save her father.

According to Kyodo News, Vice-chairman of the Japan Uyghur Association, Afumetto Retepu and a friend of Mihray, said, "She was trying hard to look forward despite enduring sadness."

After the reports of her death, many Uyghurs living outside of China have posted pictures of her last message and a bouquet of red flowers.

Beijing Winter Olympics is scheduled for next year and the US and many other countries have started boycotting the event. The diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics is to protest against the so-called "genocide" of Uyghur Muslims in China's Xinjiang.


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