Activists and scholars from Uyghur community accused Chinese authorities of bragging about the genocide of Muslims after the Chinese Embassy in the United States on Thursday boasted on Twitter and praised China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority.
“Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines,” the tweet says. “They are more confident and independent.”
Thursday’s tweet links to an article in the China Daily, a publication of the Chinese Communist Party.
Responding to the tweet, an Uyghur-American activist Aydin Anwar said that “Today, China admitted to forcibly sterilizing our women, all under the name of emancipation and gender equality.”
“This is a tweet that will end up in genocide museums,” she said.
“What a sickening falsehood. My wife was neither a ‘baby-making machine’ nor an ‘extremist’,” said Mamutjan Abdurehim who is from Kashgar, Xinjiang — the Chinese region known now for its severe surveillance, arbitrary detentions, and forced labor.
Abdurehim was separated from his wife and two young children in 2015, when they were forced to return to Xinjiang under the guise of a goverment request for a passport renewal. He stayed in Malaysia, where he was studying. His wife was taken from their Kashgar home in April 2017 and sent to one of China’s detention camps for Uighur Muslims.
“She was an innocent and dignified woman who hasn’t committed any crime her entire life. And you are still detaining her for the past nearly 4 years and keeping our family separated,” Abdurehim said.
An Associated Press investigative story described China’s approach towards Uyghurs last summer: “The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children.”
The AP investigation further said: “The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang.”