Munich [Germany], July 8 (ANI): A pro-Uyghur group has strongly condemned the Chinese government's practice of targeting the Uyghur "family space" in order to silence Uyghurs abroad.
According to World Uyghur Congress (WUC), Chinese authorities have intensified their targeting of Uyghurs abroad, threatening to detain or imprison their family members in East Turkistan if they do not stop speaking out.
"Tearing Uyghur families apart is a skill that the Chinese Communist Party has mastered over the past years, adding intense grief and guilt to the repression we are already suffering", WUC President, Dolkun Isa said. "By detaining Uyghur parents, siblings, and children, or forcing them to denounce their relatives abroad, the Chinese government exploits innocent people to crack down on Uyghurs abroad, attempting to prevent them from speaking out on the Uyghur genocide."
In recent months, the Xinjiang Overseas Friendship Association in Central Asia and in Russia has facilitated a virtual gathering between Uyghur students living in Central Asian countries and their relatives in East Turkistan.
WUC said that some students in these countries who have refused the invitation of the Association, whose relatives were consequently detained by the Chinese authorities.
"For Uyghurs in the diaspora, it is not uncommon to be contacted by the Chinese authorities and be urged to return to China. Especially in Central Asian countries, Chinese consulates have been actively attempting to convince Uyghurs to return under the promise that Chinese authorities would facilitate reunification with family members," the group added.
However, according to WUC, such requests are done in a coercive manner, as they are usually accompanied by threats that family members in East Turkistan will be detained if a return to China is refused.
Uyghurs in exile that are outspoken on the "Uyghur genocide" are targeted with particular ferocity by the Chinese government. Next to threatening to detain their family members and loved ones, the Chinese government has been increasing its use of hostage diplomacy over the past months.
Despite mounting evidence, Bejing continues to deny allegations of large-scale human rights abuses in the country's Xinjiang province. (ANI)