Interview: Why #MeTooUyghur Campaign Trending

#MeTooUyghur is the latest in the series of protests carried out by the exiled Uyghur community against China. They’re calling on Chinese authorities to release videos of their detained relatives in the vast network of detention camps established by the Chinese authorities.

Melanie Romaro from The Kootneeti Team reached out to Mihriban Memet, an Uyghur Human Rights activist stationed at Munich, asking her to comment on the recent protest which has stormed social media.

“#MeTooUyghur campaign is the outcome of a recent response by Chinese authorities to release Abdurehim Heyts’s video to show he’s alive and in good health”, Mihriban told The Kootneeti. “With this campaign, Uyghurs around the world want to speak out, that our families in the Uyghur region must be safe”

Uyghur activist pointed out about the recent announcement by the United Nations in which there are reports of 1 million ethnic Uyghurs in a massive internment camp. She further estimates that this figure could reach 3 million. According to her, within Chinese government there are favourable voices to assimilate and destroy the Uyghur people. She believes, being a resource-rich region as one of the major reasons why Chinese authorities are pressing hard on the people in the region.

Recently, Turkey alleged that Uyghurs in the concentration camp are subject to torture and political brainwashing by the authorities. However, Beijing rejects this claim. Memet says

“I think the Turkish government should have said this long ago, but it’s never late to voice against injustice.” She also echoed the Turkish government’s appeal to “close the camps” and demanding Uyghurs to be released immediately.

After showing the video of Uyghur poet, Uyghur diaspora demanding to show video clips of their relatives who are detained, but Chinese foreign spokeswoman denied this appeal quoting inablity to have video recordings of 1.5 billion people (The official Chinese population figure).

Ms Mihriban refuted the claims saying “We see video evidence of interned Uighurs and that’s not in billions.”

Two ethnic Uighur women pass Chinese paramilitary policemen standing guard outside the Grand Bazaar in the Uighur district of the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang/Image:PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

“These Uighurs are monitored around the clock and that would not be difficult for the Chinese government to publish them. China needs to close down the concentration camps immediately and contact our family members.”

When asked if the turbulence in the region affecting the Uyghur culture she replies “Yes, what the Chinese government doing with the Uyghurs, clearly leads to the extermination of the culture.”

“It leads to destroy ancient cities like Kashgar, arresting intellectuals, gravely impacts Uyghur literature and history.”

She further states “To preserve a nation, culture, traditions, history and art must be preserved. Uyghurs in the region are having several thousand years of history that including ancient Silk route days spread far Europe and that should not be destroyed by the Communist government.”

She appealed all the democratic nations to press China strongly until these camps are closed and the people in there are freed.

China must show us the evidence where all Uighurs have remained and if they’re alive. Women, children and old people are facing the pain of separation from their families. It’s about PEOPLE!!!

The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the autho and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Melanie Romaro

Melanie Romaro is a Former Geopolitical Analyst at The Kootneeti. She holds a Masters degree in Political Science & International Relations from the State University of Colorado. She can be reached at melainieromaro@gmail.com

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