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International webinar held in Indonesia to raise awareness about China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang

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Jakarta [Indonesia], March 16 (ANI): In an effort to raise awareness in Indonesia about China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang and expose why some developing countries indebted to China turn a blind eye towards it, the Center for South-East Asian Studies (CSEAS) organized an international webinar titled “China’s Atrocities On Uyghur Muslims: Why Do Many Countries Remain Silent?” in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Prominent leaders at the webinar noted that China is trying to eliminate the Uyghur’s culture from the country. The webinar was moderated by Dr Asep Setiawan from Muhammdiyah University Jakarta. It featured very prominent speakers, including Omer Kanat (executive director of Uyghur Human Rights Project, Washington), Professor James Leibold (from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia), Dinna Prapto Raharjo (from Binus University, Jakarta) and Dr Ayjaz Wani (Research Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, Mumbai, India).

Omer Kanat while addressing the webinar said, “Lack of response from the Muslim world has been demoralizing for the Uyghurs. The leadership of many Muslim-majority countries have been silent, while others vocally approved the Chinese government’s actions”.

“Economically, indebted to China and toeing China’s strategy of political Islam, some Muslim countries in South Asia like Pakistan and Bangladesh have turned a blind eye to the atrocities on Muslims in Xinjiang,” noted Dr. Ayjaz Wani during the webinar.

Moreover, Prof. James Leibold pointed out that people are not aware of the human rights situation in Xinjiang as less information is present. “There is a general, a genuine knowledge gap. There is simply less information available about what is happening in Xinjiang and to the Uyghur people in the media and social media landscape of the Muslim world,” he said.

Dr Dinna Prapto Rharjo hoped that solidarity sentiment could be generated for the repressed Uyghurs. “Hopefully, we can build the feeling of solidarity (for Uyghurs) again all of us,” said Rharjo.

Notably, the US State Department and parliaments of Canada and the Netherlands have determined that China’s conduct constitutes genocide under international law. Many countries have imposed sanctions on Chinese officials and companies as a result.

But many countries from Asia, Africa and Latin American countries remained silent about atrocities in Xinjiang. Many Muslim-majority countries strongly supported China’s repressive actions on Uyghurs.

Communist leaders generally do not like religion. Likewise, communist China does not like its largest province-level division, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), and its people, who are mostly Uyghur Muslims.

Xinjiang, which has vast natural resources, is a landlocked autonomous region with some 25 million people. In area-wise, Xinjiang is four times bigger than Germany. Locals call Xinjiang East Turkistan and it was an independent country, which was occupied by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1949.

The people of East Turkistan are called Uyghurs, or Uighurs, and are ethnically and culturally Turkic people. They practice a moderate form of Islam. The Xinjiang region has been under China’s repressive rule for many years, with deliberate policies opposing centuries-old traditions, culture, and religion. Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, Chinese atrocities on Uyghur Muslims have increased sharply.

China has imposed a ban on growing a long beard and wearing an Islamic dress. Owning a holy Quran or a prayer mat will land you in jail in Xinjiang. Even parents cannot give Islamic names to their own children. There is a strict surveillance system everywhere.

According to the Human Rights Watch 2021 report, total arrests in the Xinjiang region accounted for about 21 per cent of all arrests in China in 2017. But the fact is the population of the Xinjiang region constitute only 1.5 per cent of China’s 1.44 billion people.

Two-thirds of mosques were destroyed by authorities. Since 2017, around 16,000 mosques were either partially or fully demolished in Xinjiang. More than one million Uyghurs were put in internment camps in Xinjiang. It is an open jail.

Last year, an unofficial Uyghur Tribunal in Britain ruled that China has committed genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. It cited birth control and sterilisation measures allegedly carried out by the Chinese state against Uyghur as the primary reason for its conclusion. However, China denies all accusations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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