15 detention centres found in Turpan, Xinjiang

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A report by US based Uyghur group

WASHINGTON: Detailed locations of as many as 15 detention camps for Uyghurs have been unearthed in Turpan city of the northwest Chinese province of Xinjiang, the region where several scenes of Disney’s new film ‘Mulan’  were filmed, according to a Washington-based Uyghur group.

This is a significant development as Disney has come under fire for shooting in Xinjiang province, the region where Chinese government is accused of carrying out a brutal campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims.

The movie, slated for release across China on September 11, garnered controversy after Disney thanked Turpan Public Security Bureau and the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China’s “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region” Committee in the film credits, which are Chinese government entities directly involved in mass internment of Uyghurs and others, said the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM).

Uyghur detention facilities found in Xinjiang’s Turpan area where Disney’s Mulan film was shot

Mulan’s lead actor, Liu Yifei, has also been criticised for backing the Hong Kong Police crackdown on pro-democracy protestors.

ETNAM had publicly released the coordinates of 182 concentration camps, 209 prisons and 74 Bingtuan (Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) labour camps across East Turkistan in November last year. The group has now shared the exact locations of 10 concentration camps and five prisons located nearly 130 kilometres radius of Turpan region.

It said there were five concentration camps and two prisons operating in Turpan City alone. In Pichan County of Turpan, four concentration camps and two prisons are present while one concentration camp and one prison are present in Toqsun County of Turpan.

These facilities have been operating since 2017 and many of the concentration camps have been expanded in 2018. According to testimonies of former detainees in concentration camps and prisons and their size, these facilities easily hold more than 100,000 people, mostly Uyghurs, according to ETNAM.

Salih Hudayar, the group’s founder and president said, “By filming the movie in Turpan, East Turkistan, where there are possibly hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs being detained in concentration camps and prisons, Disney is not only helping promote Chinese government propaganda but it is also helping the CCP whitewash the genocide faced by Uyghurs and demonising the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples of East Turkistan as ‘barbarians’ and as enemies of China and the Chinese people.”

Muslim activists demonstrating in Malaysia for the safety of Uyghur Muslim brothers and sisters

Last December, China had claimed that everyone in the so-called “re-education” concentration camps across Xinjiang had “graduated”. However, these concentration camps and prisons are still operating based on the satellite image seen from March to July this year.

ETNAM has called on the people all over the world to boycott ‘Mulan’ and asked Disney to cancel its screenings of the movie as soon as possible. The group has also demanded a formal apology to the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples of East Turkistan.

China has been criticised globally for cracking down on the Uyghurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination.

Islamic community

Uyghur American and rights advocate Rushan Abbas demand OIC and other Muslim countries to watch what Pakistan and China doing to Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. In a video statement, she said, “The world continues to turn a blind eye to the genocide that the Chinese government is perpetrating against Uyghur Muslims.”

“Uyghur pleas are dismissed and discredited. Meanwhile, China’s propaganda is met with blind faith. By virtue of this faith, over 3 million Uyghurs are imprisoned in concentration camps. Our religion is outlawed, our organs are harvested, our hair is sold, our children ripped from us, our women raped, forcibly married and sterilized,” she said.

Rights advocate Rushan Abbas

Rushan is the founder and executive director of the non-profit, Campaign for Uyghurs.

She said, “Uyghurs are forced to make your Nike shoes, Zara dresses, Calvin Klein purses as slaves while forsaking their religion and ethnicity.”

“A promise for ‘never again’ was made. But that promise is being broken.You hear the cries of agony from the millions facing genocide, from the children who scream out for their parents, the sobs of women who were raped, sterilized, and forced to abort. Still, the most deafening is the silence from the world community, in particular from our Muslim brothers and sisters. This pain is met with justifications made on behalf of the Chinese government,” said the activist.

Rushan Abbas said, “The Gulf states remain indifferent to this genocide because of China’s Belt and Road initiative accompanied by short term economic benefits. But in the end, China will be the only one who truly benefits. It will do onto all Islamic countries what it is doing to East Turkistan; enforce atheist communist ideology and kill off Islam”.

The activist is unhappy with Pakistan’s failure to raise the Uyghur issue with China, its close ally. She said, “Pakistan naively sees its ties to China as “mutually beneficial”. This is folly; it is becoming China’s colony. As the Chinese language becomes required and the Chinese military is seen on the streets of Pakistan, it is clear what is developing.”

The CCP is turning Islamic countries into their puppets, with their mouths, eyes, and ears covered by China’s blood money.

The people of these nations are our Muslim brothers and sisters, and their silence stabs our hearts.

Rushan said: “Their fate may be the same as ours if they do not awaken soon! While the OIC has changed its position to support China’s genocide, siding with these CCP bullies, we plead with the ummah to take up the cause of saving Uyghur lives, and concurrently protecting Islam from China’s war on religion, as is our obligation as Muslims”.

“This modern-day Genocide isn’t just mass killings to the level of extermination; it means the obliteration of a people to extinction. It is our duty to make sure this genocide ends and it is Muslims’ duty to defend Islam,” she said while concluding: “Don’t abandon your Muslim brothers and sisters.”

China has been accused of interning one million Uyghurs in “re-education” centers in Xinjiang.

Uyghurs do not accept that Xinjiang is part of China, citing the evidence that Uyghur people lived in the area before the Chinese Han and Tang dynasties set up protectorates.

Xinjiang, as it is now, came under the Chinese Qing dynasty rule in the 18th century, but there have been many times in its history when it was not under Chinese control. (ANI)