‘Think of your family’: China threatens European citizens over Xinjiang protests


Uighurs living in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, and France have complained of intimidation by Beijing

Thu 17 Oct 2019 00.44 BST Benjamin Haas in Munich @haasbenjamin

Demonstrators holding Uighur flags in Berlin before a meeting between German chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese premier Li Keqiang. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images

Two days after Abdujelil Emet sat in the public gallery of Germany’s parliament during a hearing on human rights, he received a phone call from his sister for the first time in three years. But the call from Xinjiang, in western China, was anything but a joyous family chat. It was made at the direction of Chinese security officers, part of a campaign by Beijing to silence criticism of policies that have seen more than a million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities detained in internment camps. Emet said:

I will not keep my silence and the Chinese government should not use my family to threaten me, I was clear with them on the phone: if they harm my family, I will speak out louder and become a bigger problem for the government.

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Source: The Guardian