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The Washington Post: Corona multiplies the Uighurs' repression and their pain


The Washington Post said that the Muslim Uighur people as well as other ethnic minorities in China are facing Beijing's harsh response to the Corona epidemic and its bullying that has multiplied the pain of these minorities by subjecting millions of them to severe restrictions.

The newspaper reported in an article by American author Josh Rogin that Uighur activists are currently providing evidence that the Chinese authorities' response to Corona is causing starvation and torture of their people, including those outside detention camps, and that there are separate reports that the authorities are forcing Uighurs to return to work in factories that Closed because of the epidemic, despite constant risks.

Rogin said that the Washington-based "Uighur Human Rights Project" issued a briefing that included videos of Uighurs and social media on the harsh conditions in Xinjiang, where Uighurs are in the majority. The videos, which cannot be independently verified, show the Uighurs facing severe food shortages. The group says its claims are confirmed by news reports and messages that Uighurs have received in the diaspora from their families or friends in recent weeks.

Early warnings
The project's executive director, Omar Kanat, told a news conference yesterday that the reports of despair and suffering among the Uighurs are real, and that the Uighurs in the diaspora and as soon as they heard about the Coruna outbreak they immediately began warning that they were now facing a whole new threat that could easily kill the majority of Uighurs.

He added that late January, the Chinese authorities forced millions of Xinjiang residents to quarantine their homes without warning and without any precaution in providing food. In one of the videos widely circulated among Uighurs, a man yells at the authorities, “I am starving. My wife and children are starving,” then he starts to pound his head on a column and yells, “Do you want to kill me? Kill me.”

In several publications, it is reported that the Uighurs inhabited the doors of the Chinese language, to ensure that residents did not leave their homes. In one of the leaflets, an old man appears, ordering him not to go out to reply in the Uighur language, "What am I supposed to eat when I'm hungry? What should I do? I eat the building?"

Vancouver, Canada protests against Uighur detention camps in China (Reuters)

An outright lie
And of course, the Chinese government denies it absolutely oppressed the Uighurs. A Chinese official was confronted on Australian television this week over the threat of Corona to imprisoned Uighurs, to respond that the camps were "training centers" and that "most" of the prisoners had entered them voluntarily. The audience laughed, "But it is, of course, not funny," the author comments.

One of the Uighurs, Mahrigol Torsan, said during the press conference that she was one of the first to be detained in 2015 during her parents' visit near the city of Urumqi, and spent 13 months in detention while not being allowed to shower or change her clothes for months on end, adding that she and the other women with her in the cell used the toilet They were under the supervision of the guards camera, and they witnessed the death of nine women while in the camp.

Torsan also revealed that the cells in the camps are so crowded that the 60 women are forced to sleep, stand up and wake up alternately, noting that there are many diseases there because they are denied adequate medical care. About Corona and its effect on the detainees, Torsan said she is extremely concerned that many people are dying.

Forced labor
The fact that Uighurs were forced to return to factories in large numbers was announced by Xinhua News Agency this week, as it confirmed that 30,000 of them had resumed work in factories in Xinjiang in the past days.

Dr. Farahat Bilgin, an American Uighur, told the Washington-based Igor Times, that the Chinese government was under pressure to avert an economic catastrophe and treated Uighur workers as irreplaceable because they did not have any rights to cope with their people's crisis.

The activist's demand is simple, he said, calling for the camps to be closed, the innocent be released and the basic needs of the Xinjiang residents to be met, adding that the US government could call for a more gradual step - allowing full access to the area and the camps by international aid workers and journalists.

He concluded that the Corona virus is the most dangerous to the weakest of people, and because of the Chinese government’s suppression of the Uighurs for years, they have become uniquely weak, and their cries for help should not be lost without an answer.

Source: aljazeera

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