US to impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials tied to repression of Uighurs
DHARAMSALA, 9 Oct: The US has announced that it will impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials accused of involvement in repression of Muslim populations, the BBC reported.
The decision follows US’ blacklisting 28 Chinese organisations it had linked to allegations of abuse in the Xinjiang region earlier this week on Monday, the report stated.
Citing the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it said that the Chinese government had instituted “a highly repressive campaign.”
According to the report, the US Secretary of State, in a statement has accused the Chinese government of a string of abuses against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz Muslims and other minority Muslim groups.
The report noted that the charges include “mass detentions in internment camps; pervasive, high-tech surveillance; draconian controls on expressions of cultural and religious identities; and coercion of individuals to return from abroad to an often perilous fate in China.”
The US has further issued a statement calling on the Beijing to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang, release all those arbitrarily detained, and cease efforts to coerce members of Chinese Muslim minority groups residing abroad to return to China to face an uncertain fate.
China, as expected, is reported to have rebuffed the move by the US while further dismissing the allegations as groundless.
UN experts and activists say at least one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in the detention centres in Xinjiang.
While China says the detention camps equipped with high-tech network of surveillance systems are necessary to counter Islamic extremism, the huge numbers involved, and the detention of many Uyghur cultural leaders – writers and poets, academics and publishers, singers and comedians – suggest that the camps are designed to eradicate local languages and cultures to remould the region’s peoples as secular and patriotic Chinese citizens according to Uighur expert ProfessorRachel Harris from School of Arts at SOAS, University of London.