Srinagar: Members of the Uighur Muslim ethnic group have called on China to post videos of their relatives who have disappeared into a “vast system of internment camps”.
The social media campaign, launched early Tuesday under the hashtag #MeTooUyghur, follows the release of a Chinese state media video showing famed Uighur musician Abdurehim Heyit, who many believed had died in custody.
“China, show us their videos if they are alive!” Halmurat Harri, a Finland-based Uighur activist, wrote on Twitter.
He urged the government to also release videos to prove that others believed detained are in good health amid reports of neglectful and sometimes brutal conditions in the camps.
China has come under increasing scrutiny for the camps holding an estimated one million minority Muslims in its far west Xinjiang region. Former detainees who fled overseas say that while they were held captive, they were ordered to renounce their faith and pledge loyalty to the ruling Communist Party through indoctrination tactics reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution, TRT World reported.
The country has faced an outcry from activists, scholars, foreign governments and UN rights experts over what they call mass detentions and strict surveillance of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups who live predominantly in a region claimed by Uighurs in China, which they call East Turkistan and is home to some 10 million people, most of whom are Muslim.
Beijing, which long denied the existence of such facilities, now says they are vocational training centres where Uighurs, Kazakhs and others receive free skills education.
Surveillance cameras, security checkpoints and riot police have become ubiquitous in Xinjiang in recent years, but the government maintains that such measures are necessary to combat separatist violence and latent religious extremism.