Author Topic: COVID-19 Outbreak and Xinjiang  (Read 1346 times)


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COVID-19 Outbreak and Xinjiang
« on: March 27, 2020, 11:56:30 PM »
China Says There’s No Risk of a COVID-19 Outbreak in Xinjiang Camps. Don’t Believe It.
In trying to deny any cause for concern, a government spokesperson only helped justify fears.

By Jewher Ilham and Munawwar Abdulla
February 28, 2020

China Says There No Risk of a COVID-19 Outbreak in Xinjiang Camps. Dont Believe It.

When the coronavirus outbreak hit international headlines, Uyghurs in the diaspora took to social media to raise concerns about the potential for mass outbreaks and deaths in China’s vast network of internment camps in their occupied homeland. Their demands were for: 1) the World Health Organization to send a delegation to the region to evaluate the spread of the virus; 2) international pressure on China to close the camps and release the millions of detained people in response to the dangers posed by the new epidemic; and 3) medical supplies and other humanitarian support to the region. Earlier this week, China responded to the campaign with an absurd but predictable statement in the Global Times.

Calling the campaign an effort to “slander China’s policies,” a spokesperson for the regional government only confirmed fears by asking: “As all of the trainees have graduated, how could there have been risk for large-scale infection?”

In December, China claimed to have released the more than 1 million Uyghurs and other persecuted peoples detained in “vocational training centers” as part of its campaign to “eradicate ideological viruses.” Shohrat Zakir, the chairman of the Uyghur region, told the press that everyone in the camps had “graduated” and were out and living “happy lives.” China has not offered any evidence to support that claim and continues to deny its persecution of the Uyghurs despite the mounting evidence. What we have seen instead is a large number of internees simply being transferred to other forms of detainment.

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