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'China monitors social media posts of Uyghurs settled abroad'

ANI | Updated: Dec 17, 2020 14:27 IST


Washington [US], December 17 (ANI): China has devised a new social media surveillance system to put a tab on Uyghurs staying overseas. Concerned about international opinion, the Chinese Communist Party has started to monitor social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and WeChat reports CNN.
In a bizarre turn of events, Nyrola Elima, an Uyghur settled in Sweden faced the repressive action by the Chinese officials, CNN reported.
In September 2020, one of her relatives Mayila Yakufu was freed from a Chinese internment camp based in Yining Detention Center and she contacted Yakufu through a video call.
"I didn't recognize her at the very beginning, because she looked so pale. She looked so weak and she had short hair," said Elima. "She was terrified, she didn't dare to speak too much with me,"CNN reported.
Elima quickly passed on the news to Yakufu's parents and sister who live in Australia.
As per the officials, Yakufu's apparent crime was transferring savings to her parents in Australia, to help them buy a house.

But her freedom was short-lived as a day after Chinese authorities took her away again, this time to Yining People's Hospital in western Xinjiang.
They said the authorities didn't give them a medical reason for her admission to the hospital, but they did pass a message to her aunt and uncle: stop your daughter, Nyrola, from tweeting, reported CNN.
As per the US State Department, since 2017, two million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other ethnic minorities could have passed through the camp system, which China calls vocational training centers designed to fight extremism.
The extent of the mass surveillance apparatus by China has increased manifolds to monitor Uyghurs, who can be sent to the camp in the name of long beards or headscarves or owning a passport.
The Uyghurs are subjugated in the name of vocational training, they are even sent to these camps.
In order to save themselves from international disgrace, Chinese authorities have been monitoring the social media platforms of Uyghurs who have been staying overseas and who post against the repressive regime by threatening their families residing in Xinjiang.
"Many Uyghurs abroad are faced with the same gut-wrenching decision: do as instructed and stay silent, or risk speaking out to try to offer some protection to relatives, in the hope that if their names become well-known it will be more conspicuous if they disappear," CNN reported. (ANI)

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