Twitter urged to act on China’s ‘violent propaganda’ about Uyghur Muslim women
Community leaders and leading MPs have urged Twitter to take action against Chinese government accounts, spreading “violent propaganda” about the sterilisation of Uyghur Muslim women.
Its Embassy to the United States shared an article from China Daily, state-run media, claiming the “eradication of extremism” in Xinjiang, an area of China with a large Uyghur population, has given women “more autonomy”.
It said: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.”
This comes after Jewish News led a campaign to highlight to MPs the similarities between the Jewish experience of persecution and China’s repression of its Uyghur minority – including sterilisation of the community’s women.
This included images of shaved heads, crammed cells and names replaced by numbers in vast ‘re-education’ camps, which have been met by communal outcry. Up to one million Uyghur Muslims thought to be detained, with concern raised last year after hair, forcibly removed Uyghur Muslim women, was found in the United Sates.
Conservative MP Nus Ghani responded to the article, calling on Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey to take action. She said the article is “blatant fake news & violent propaganda against millions of Uyghur women & children. Block this site – just as you banned Trump. Block it-stop the abuse.”
Last year, she hand-delivered a letter to Downing Street, organised with Jewish News, urging the UK to put pressure on China to end persecution.
MP Tom Tugendhat agreed with Ghani, saying: “Claiming that ethnic cleansing is a form of gender equality is horrific.”
Nus Ghani holding the Uyghur petition
Joining the chorus of condemnation was Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker, who said: “The attempt by the Chinese Embassy in the US to present an alleged programme of forced sterilisation of Uyghur women as a humanitarian measure is both outrageous and disgusting The persecution of the Uyghurs for their faith must stop immediately and the International community must be given access to verify “
Mia Hasenson-Gross Executive Director of Jewish human rights groups Rene Cassin said: “The forced steralisaltion, forced coupling and physical and sexual abuse that Uyghur women are experiencing is very real and goes against any value of humanity and dignity, as well as international human rights law.
“The genocidal acts committed against the Uyghur people are real and must end now! The Jewish community has been at the forefront on speaking out against what is happening to the Uyghurs and should continue to do so in any instance.
The Chinese government strongly denies claims about persecution, insisting it is a ‘re-education’ programme against extremist views.