People Are Pressuring The Olympic Committe To Help Shut Down China’s Uyghur Camps

China News

The last time Irade Kashgary heard from her grandmother was in 2015. That was the year her grandmother told the family that she’d been placed under house arrest in Xinjiang, an autonomous Uyghur region controlled by China, with no real explanation why. Since then, Kashgary hasn’t been able to get in contact with her aunts, uncles, and cousins in the region either.

The Kashgarys are Uyghur Muslims indigenous to Xinjiang, though Kashgary and her immediate family live in the U.S. Since 2014, China has been forcing portions of its Uyghur Muslim population into internment camps, in addition to subjecting those outside to mass surveillance and heavy policing. Like Kashgary’s grandmother, many people, including families with children, have been placed on house arrest.

The UN and various international human rights organizations have condemned the country’s treatment of Uyghur people, but China has not indicated it has any plans to stop persecuting the population. In response, Kashgary and other members of a group called No Rights. No Games. are calling on China to close the camps ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

“The Olympics brings people together, and it brings people together in a supposedly non politicized way,” said Peter Irwin, the primary coordinator of the campaign. “If you have a games that is hosted in a country with concentration camps—and I’ll use that language—that completely does not square with the very clear spirit of the games and the Olympic movement.”

Both Kashgary and Irwin are clear that No Rights. No Games. is not advocating for a boycott of the Olympics—at least not yet. The group has two demands: The first is that China shut down the camps. The second asks China to respect Uyghur rights outside of the camps too. If these two demands are met, the group would like to see the winter games continue as planned in Beijing. But if China refuses, No Rights. No Games. plans to call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to relocate the Olympics to a country that is not engaging in the mass detention of religious and ethnic minorities.

“We we want the Olympics to go forward; we want the Olympics to be successful,” Irwin said. “But the main point is that they will not be successful if they’re held in a country where there are concentration camps and they’re treating a population this way.”

“We just want to know that the IOC is going to hold China accountable,” added Kashgary.

Despite overwhelming evidence of mass detention and continued human rights abuses towards the Uyghur population, the Chinese government initially denied the existence of the internment camps outright, only later acknowledging them as “vocational education and training centers.” The government has insisted that the Uyghur Muslims in the region “enjoy equal freedoms and rights.”

The most recent version of the IOC’s charter emphasizes its strong concern for human rights. “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity,” the IOC states in one of its seven fundamental principles of Olympism. The IOC also requires host cities to sign a contract agreeing to meet “internationally-recognised human rights standards and principles.” (Arbitrary detention without trial is illegal under international law.)

” We Just Want To Know That The IOC is Going To Hold China Accountable “

“We are responsible for ensuring the respect of the Olympic Charter with regard to the Olympic Games and take this responsibility very seriously,” the IOC said in a statement to VICE. “At the same time, the IOC has neither the mandate nor the capability to change the laws or the political system of a sovereign country.”

At a press conference in early December, IOC President Thomas Bach was asked whether the organization would still hold the games considering China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims. “There is an ongoing dialogue there with the organizing committee and we take this responsibility very serious,” Bach said. “But we also have to respect our limits and our limitations. Our mandate and our responsibility is with regard to the Olympic games.”

In the meantime, the situation in Xinjiang is getting worse for Uyghur Muslims. An estimated one million Muslims are currently being held in detention, according to The New York Times. For those who aren’t, conditions are dismal as well. They have seen the closure of their mosques and the disappearance of community members. Many have been forced into surveilled house arrest or compulsory labor.

In early December, following the passage of a U.S. bill calling on China to end “arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China,” the Chinese government reiterated that the camps were educational centers and denied any wrongdoing. On Monday, Xinjiang governor Shohrat Zakir claimed that all Uyghurs currently in detention were there voluntarily. Experts and human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch have heavily disputed his words.

“I’m proof of the fact that things are not normal there,” said Kashgary. “If things were normal in XinJiang, then I would be able to call my grandma. I would be able to call my aunts and my uncles and my cousins and be able to openly speak with them at this age of technology

Report : Your Gadgets Are Made By Re-Education Camp Prisoners In China

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Thousands of forced laborers from the oppressed Uyghur minority are working in factories across China and building electronics for Apple, Samsung, Nintendo, Microsoft and others, according to a new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), an independent think-tank.

The report conservatively estimates that around 80,000 people, mostly Uyghurs—a Muslim ethnic minority in western China that has been subject to oppression from Beijing—were forcibly moved from Xinjiang province to work in factories between 2017 and 2019.

“Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen,” the report said.

Uyghurs have lived in brutal conditions in China for years. The almost 12 million strong population lives mostly in China’s Xinjiang region where, for the past few years, the government has rounded them up and placed them in “re-education camps” where they’re not allowed to practice their religion and drilled on Chinese Communist Party ideology. The goal, according to leaked documents, is the transformation of Uyghurs into loyal citizens of the state.

Forced labor in other provinces is, according to ASPI’s report, a new part of that transformative process. The ASPI used a combination of interviews, satellite footage, social media posts, local newspaper reports, and other publicly available information to document the transfer of people from Xinjiang to factories across China.

In just one of the report’s examples, Beijing transferred 1,200 Uyghur laborers from detention camps in Xinjiang to a factory run by a Chinese firm called O-Film in 2017. Local press reported on the influx of workers. “The workers were expected to ‘gradually alter their ideology’ and turn into ‘modern, capable youth’ who ‘understand the Party’s blessing, feel gratitude toward the Party, and contribute to stability,’ a local Xinjiang newspaper wrote,” said the report.

O-Film manufactures pieces of the camera for Apple’s iPhone along with other products for Samsung, Dell, Microsoft, and Amazon. “Apple is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock told The Washington Post in response to the ASPI report. “We have not seen this report but we work closely with all our suppliers to ensure our high standards are upheld.”

“Microsoft is committed to responsible and ethical sourcing,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We take this responsibility very seriously and take significant steps to enforce our policies and code of conduct in support of human rights, labor, health and safety, environmental protection, and business ethics through our assurance program. All forms of forced labor are specifically banned by our Supplier Code of Conduct. We are investigating the claims and will take appropriate action if breaches of our code of conduct exist.”

Conditions for Uyghurs working across China are terrible. According to The Washington Post’s reporting⁠—which focused on a shoe factory supplying Nike in Laixi, China⁠—⁠—after their shifts, workers have a certain amount of freedom of movement but they’re constantly monitored by security officers and camera systems using facial recognition. They are not allowed to return home to Xinjiang.

According to The Washington Post, in the shoe factory, watchtowers with cameras walls topped with barbed wire. The Uyghurs often don’t speak Mandarin and are physically separated from their fellow workers. The goal, according to posters on the wall and party officials, is to integrate the Uyghurs into Chinese society.

China Is Erasing Tributes To Coronavirus Whistleblower Doctor Li Wenliang

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The Chinese government has attempted to eradicate an unprecedented outpouring of grief and anger following the death of Li Wen liang, the doctor who tried to warn the world about the growing threat from the corona virus outbreak.

In the hours after Li’s death from coronavirus was confirmed Thursday, Chinese citizens staged a rare collective protest online criticizing the government and officials for failing the doctor by silencing him and ignoring the threat posed by the coronavirus, which has now killed at least 637 people in China and infected at least 31,000 more.

As well as directly referencing Li’s death, online critics quoted the song “Do You Hear the People Sing,” referenced Article 35 of China’s constitution that provides for freedom of speech, and shared sections of the poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

“This is not the death of a whist leb lower. This is the death of a hero,” said one comment on Weibo.

But within hours, the government had wiped clean much of the anger and critical voices, part of its widespread campaign to silence any voices critical of the government’s response to the virus outbreak, particularly its delayed reaction to initial reports coming out of Wuhan in December.

The government issued censorship instructions to the media in the wake of Li’s death, warning them that “it is strictly forbidden for reports to use contributions from self-media, and sites may not use pop-up alerts, comment, or sensationalize.”

It added that outlets should “not set up special topic sections, gradually withdraw the topic from Hot Search lists, and strictly manage harmful information,” according to a leaked copy of the alert seen by China Digital Times, a California-based group that monitors China’s online space.

The government even tried to control the news of Li’s death, likely knowing the anger and outrage it would cause.

Several state-run media outlets, including the People’s Daily and the Global Times, broke the news of Li’s death at around 10:30 p.m. local time, news that was quickly picked up by international media.

However, according to screenshots posted on Weibo, the government quickly issued a “reporting instruction” to journalists to play down Li’s death. State-run media quickly deleted their stories and claimed Li was still alive but in a critical condition.

at around 3 a.m. local time on Friday morning.

Li died from corona virus a month after he tried to warn family and friends in a private We Chat message about a growing threat he had seen at Wuhan Central Hospital, where he worked as an ophthalmologist.

After his warning was shared online and went viral, Li was silenced by Chinese authorities and warned that if he spoke up again there would be serious consequences.

Li went back to work and a week later unknowingly treated a patient with corona virus. He fell ill days later and was admitted to the intensive care ward.

The silencing of Li is part of a wider effort by Beijing to censor any negative comments about the corona virus outbreak. Now, some in Wuhan are worried that another critical voice may have been silenced.

Former human rights lawyer Chen Qiushi, who became famous for his citizen journalism during the Hong Kong protests last year, has been posting videos from Wuhan detailing what life is really like in the city that is under lockdown.

Chen’s reporting has shown how taxi drivers in Wuhan knew about the outbreak as early as mid-December, and how medical staff at Wuhan’s hospitals had become infected with corona virus, despite government claims to the contrary.

Chen’s WeChat account was suspended shortly after he arrived in Wuhan on Jan. 24, and other users were told that sharing Chen’s videos, which included trips to local hospitals and interviews with citizens angry at the government’s slow response, would result in them being banned too.

But now friends say he has not been seen or heard from since 7 p.m. local time on Thursday when he was due to visit one of the temporary hospitals established in Wuhan. His mother posted a video on Twitter calling for help locating her son.

China Is Now Blaming A Lone U.S. Cyclist For Coronavirus

China News

A Chinese state-run newspaper is pushing an unfounded conspiracy theory that a U.S. military athlete was the patient zero of corona virus.

The Global Times, citing known U.S. conspiracy theorist George Webb, claims that the virus was manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October.

The claim is part of a wider effort by the Chinese government to change the narrative about the origin of the corona virus, as the Trump administration continues to label the pandemic as the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus.”

The conspiracy theory linking the outbreak to the U.S. athletes’ visit to the games in Wuhan was first promoted by foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who tweeted about it earlier this month. It was then repeated by other officials and by state-run news outlets.

It appeared that Beijing was standing down from its conspiracy push earlier this week, when China’s ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai dismissed the conspiracy theory as “crazy” in an interview with Axios.

But on Wednesday, Beijing doubled down by publishing the claims first put forward by Webb.

The Global Times admits that Webb’s conclusions are “without strong evidence”, but it also claims that Chinese citizens and experts are calling on the U.S. to publish details about the athletes who traveled to Wuhan.

Among those cited is Li Ha i dong, a professor of U.S. studies at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. The Global Times quotes him saying that Washington needs to publish the “relevant information regarding the athlete’s health status and infection records to clear public doubts and help with the scientific study on the virus’ origin.”

The theory was repeated in several other Chinese-language outlets and was also shared by We Chat users.

As China tries to refocus attention away from Wuhan and onto the U.S., the Trump administration appears unwilling to back down from using what many deem racist language about the corona virus.

Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was going to stop using the term “Chinese virus,” telling Fox News that “we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it.” Trump said he only began using it because of the conspiracy theories being shared by Chinese officials.

But his Secretary of State Mike Pom peo is continuing to push the use of these problematic terms.

Pom peo held a virtual conference with leaders from the G 7 alliance on Wednesday but they were unable to agree on a joint statement on the global pandemic. The reason, according to sources speaking to ABC News, was that Pom peo insisted that any statement include the term “Wuhan virus.”

China initially suppressed news of the outbreak, silencing whist leb lower doctors and other citizens seeking to share information from Wuhan during the peak of the outbreak. And yet, while the World Health Organization has acknowledged China made some “mistakes” in its initial handling of the outbreak, WHO officials have been largely positive about how Beijing has responded to the crisis.

But the U.S. continues to lay the blame for the global pandemic, which has now killed over 21,000 people, on Beijing’s mishandling of the crisis accusing it of “blatant and dangerous propaganda” about the disease’s origins.

“First [China] tried to suppress the news. Then, it worked to protect its own population while selectively sharing critical information, such as genetic sequence data, and continuing to stonewall international health authorities that were offering assistance, requesting access and seeking more information,” wrote Woody Johnson, U.S. ambassador to the U.K., in an opinion piece in the London Times on Thursday.

“Had China done the right things at the right time, more of its own population, and the rest of the world, might have been spared the most serious impact of this disease.”

Spain Now Has More Coronavirus Deaths Than China

The Spanish government enacted a nationwide lockdown 11 days ago, but the virus continues to spread rapidly, with almost 8,000 new infections reported on Wednesday morning. The total number of confirmed cases is now 47,610.

There are now more than 3,100 people in intensive care units, an increase of 20% from the previous day.

The government is hoping that the effects of its quarantine measures will be felt by the end of the week, and on Wednesday, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, told reporters that Spain may be reaching the peak of the outbreak.

“We are very close to that peak, although I dare not say if we have arrived,” Simón said according to El País. “But the trends we are observing indicate that we are approaching.”

The country has taken extraordinary measures to try to cope with the influx of cases, particularly in the capital Madrid where over half of all deaths have been recorded. Authorities have turned a giant ice rink inside a shopping mall into a temporary morgue and converted a huge convention center into a 5,000-bed field hospital.

But the outbreak has put unprecedented pressure on the health care system, which lacks the necessary protective equipment for front line staff. Over 5,400 health care workers have been infected, and those on the front lines say the government has not done enough to provide them with sufficient masks, visors and impenetrable gowns Judi Online.

On Monday, the defense ministry confirmed that some Spanish soldiers had found residents of a nursing home abandoned while others were “dead in their beds.”

The government has asked NATO to send urgent medical supplies, and on Sunday Spain’s prime minister extended the state of emergency for another 15 days, keeping people in lockdown until April 11.

Cover: A member of the legion wearing a face mask as a preventive measure, during the covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Carlos Gil / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)