Twitter removes Chinese embassy ‘baby-making machines’ tweet on Uighur women
The US envoy on international religious freedom, Sam Brownback, said that he was “appalled and disgusted” by the lies of the Chinese embassy.
Twitter has removed a post by the Chinese embassy in the US that defended the allegations of forced sterilisation by saying Uighur women were no longer “baby-making machines”. The micro-blogging platform said that the tweet “violated the Twitter rules”, but didn’t provide any further details.
The Chinese embassy on Thursday shared an article by state mouthpiece China Daily, saying the minds of Uighur women were “emancipated” and their reproductive health was “promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines.” The tweet drew widespread condemnation and the US envoy on international religious freedom, Sam Brownback, said that he was “appalled and disgusted” by the lies of the Chinese embassy.
“Mass detention is not emancipation. Coercive population control is not reproductive health care. Uyghur women deserve to enjoy their religious freedom and unalienable rights with dignity to make their own choices,” tweeted Brownback.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group, had urged Twitter to remove the tweet, accusing the Chinese embassy of openly celebrating its use of forced sterilisations and other forms of torture. CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement that Twitter can help by immediately deleting the “horrific tweet” and ensuring that foreign governments cannot use their platforms to “justify or celebrate crimes against humanity.”
After Twitter removed the post, the embassy promoted the same article, originally published by another state-run media Xinhua, with a different caption. Citing a study titled ‘An Analysis Report on Population Change in Xinjiang’, the report claimed that the “natural growth rate” of the population in Xinjiang decreased from 11.4 per 1,000 people in 2017 to 6.13 per 1,000 people in 2018. It attributed the change to the implementation of a “unified family planning policy” and eradication of “religious extremism in the region.”
Last year, the Associated Press had reported that Beijing has been taking draconian measures to curb birth rates among Uighurs as a part of the crackdown on China’s Muslim population. German researcher Adrian Zenz, who is known for his studies of the Xinjiang re-education camps, found the kind of decline in the Muslim population “unprecedented” and said that there was a ruthlessness to it.
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo had then called on China to immediately stop forced sterilisation and said that the revelations made by Zenz were “sadly consistent” with decades of the Chinese Communist Party practices. “We call on the Chinese Communist Party to immediately end these horrific practices and ask all nations to join the United States in demanding an end to these dehumanizing abuses,” the top US diplomat had said in a statement.