China using pressure tactics on family members to intimidate Uyghur scribes

By ANI | Published: March 19, 2021 06:42 AM2021-03-19T06:42:22+5:302021-03-19T06:50:10+5:30

Chinese has been pressurising family members to intimidate journalists reporting about the atrocities against over a million Uyghurs in Xinjiang, as recently shown by the detainment of two brothers of a Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalist who has been missing since 2018, according to Xinjiang officials.

China using pressure tactics on family members to intimidate Uyghur scribes | China using pressure tactics on family members to intimidate Uyghur scribes

China using pressure tactics on family members to intimidate Uyghur scribes

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Chinese has been pressurising family members to intimidate journalists reporting about the atrocities against over a million Uyghurs in Xinjiang, as recently shown by the detainment of two brothers of a Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalist who has been missing since 2018, according to Xinjiang officials.

The confirmation came earlier this month after RFA interviewed several local officials and is the first formal acknowledgement Eset Sulaiman has had of the whereabouts of his siblings, Ehet and Ehmet, reported Voice of America (VOA).

Five of the journalist's cousins who also went missing are believed to have been detained in mass "re-education" camps in Xinjiang, in attempts to stop his coverage of rights abuses, says Sulaiman.

Local police and government officials refused to say where they are being held, saying it was a "state secret."

Sulaiman told VOA that in his last call with his late mother in 2016, she said two Chinese police knocked on her door several times and warned her that if he continues to report about Uyghurs, the family will pay the costs.

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

Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community, according to a report.

Groups such as the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) said those inside the camps are victims of torture, rape, political indoctrination and forced sterilisations. The US Department of State under then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the crackdown on Uyghurs as 'genocide'.

Meanwhile, Peter Irwin, senior program officer for advocacy and communications at UHRP, said journalists have played a central role in uncovering the reality on the ground in East Turkestan. However, they face risks as scribes in China face lengthy incarceration, and those in exile risk retaliation against family members if they speak out, reported VOA.

"Intimidation, including detention in some cases, comes in response to Uyghurs overseas speaking out about China's rights abuses," Irwin said.

Cases of transnational repression also take place in several forms, including attacks, digital intimidation, coercion, unlawful deportation from a host country and restrictions on visa and travel documentation.

The Uyghur population is a major target of China's attempts at digital intimidation, said Nate Schenkkan, director of the research strategy at Freedom House. "There's this total effort to bring people who are Uyghur under control, no matter where they are," he said.

( With inputs from ANI )

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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