‘Not a word on Uighur’: Experts question silence of celebrities on China

BBC has spoken to former detainees and a guard who have alleged sytematic rape and sexual torture at the camps.
A Chinese police officer takes his position by the road near what is officially called a vocational education center in Yining in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China. (File Photo) (REUTERS)
A Chinese police officer takes his position by the road near what is officially called a vocational education center in Yining in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China. (File Photo) (REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 05, 2021 08:02 PM IST
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A recent BBC report has revealed shocking details of how Uighur women are being "systematically raped" and tortured at China's Xinjiang camps. The US government has reacted to the reports and said it is "deeply disturbed" by the reports. The United Kingdom too has vowed action following the BBC investigation. British junior foreign minister Nigel Adams has said the BBC report revealed "clearly evil acts".

China has not yet reacted to the reports but has so far denied the detention of Uighur Muslims and called these Centres camps for vocational training. The silence of international celebrities is also being questioned.

"New reports of atrocities on Uighur women have appeared which China has not denied. It comes in clear violation of human rights," former diplomat Kanwal Sibal said.

"A few days ago, in fact, the situation in Uighur camps in Xinjiang experienced what can be called genocide and to substantiate that there are credible investigative reports like the BBC one, which are coming out now. It's intriguing that there is no buzz about this in international media and also social media," China expert and editor of India Narrative, Atul Aneja said.

Holding social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook partly responsible for not amplifying voices against the situation in Xinjiang, Aneja said, "It's absolutely unexplainable why both Twitter and Facebook are underplaying the developments at Uighur camps. The International Human Rights Council, the United Nations Security Council have to wake up to the atrocities unleashed at these camps, he said adding, "This is more than a wake-up call".

The silence of celebrities on an issue like this has also drawn flak from experts in the backdrop of the statement issued by India's ministry of external affairs where it denounced international efforts to hurt India's democracy.

"It is the hypocrisy of the so-called international celebrities on castigating the Modi government on the farmers' agitation, which has been dealt with the utmost restraint. Their silence on the persecution of Uighur people is particularly notable as this is a women's cause, which these celebrity busybodies should have addressed for their own credibility," Kanwal Sibal said.

"The silence of Rihanna, Greta Thunberg who tweeted about farmers' protest in India makes me curious whether these international figures are acting alone. Or, whether there are forces behind them which pick up agendas, whether there is any grand geopolitical game behind this. In Iraq, Egypt, Libya, human rights were used as a cover for regime change. Is this the same line of thinking, one may ask," Aneja said.

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Monday, October 18, 2021