Twitter has removed a tweet by a Chinese embassy account spreading “violent propaganda” about the alleged sterilisation of Uyghur Muslim women.
Twitter has taken action over a tweet from the Chinese Embassy to the US, following criticism from UK Jewish community leaders and top MPs.
The embassy shared an article from state-run media China Daily, which claimed the “eradication of extremism” in Xinjiang, an area of China with a large Uyghur population, has given women “more autonomy”.
It said: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.”
This comes after Jewish News led a campaign to highlight China’s repression of its Uyghur minority – including sterilisation of Uyghur women, images of shaved heads, crammed cells and names replaced by numbers in vast ‘re-education’ camps, which have been met by communal outcry.
Up to one million Uyghur Muslims thought to be detained, with concern raised last year after hair forcibly removed Uyghur Muslim women was found in the United Sates.
Conservative MP Nus Ghani responded to the article, calling on Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey to take action. She said the article is “blatant fake news & violent propaganda against millions of Uyghur women & children. Block this site – just as you banned Trump. Block it-stop the abuse.”
— Nus Ghani MP (@Nus_Ghani) January 7, 2021
Last year, she hand-delivered a letter to Downing Street, organised with Jewish News, urging the UK to put pressure on China to end persecution.
MP Tom Tugendhat agreed with Ghani, saying: “Claiming that ethnic cleansing is a form of gender equality is horrific.”
Joining the chorus of condemnation was Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker, who said: “The attempt by the Chinese Embassy in the US to present an alleged programme of forced sterilisation of Uyghur women as a humanitarian measure is both outrageous and disgusting. The persecution of the Uyghurs for their faith must stop immediately and the International community must be given access to verify “
Mia Hasenson-Gross Executive Director of Jewish human rights groups Rene Cassin said: “The forced steralisaltion, forced coupling and physical and sexual abuse that Uyghur women are experiencing is very real and goes against any value of humanity and dignity, as well as international human rights law.
“The genocidal acts committed against the Uyghur people are real and must end now! The Jewish community has been at the forefront on speaking out against what is happening to the Uyghurs and should continue to do so in any instance.
Twitter and the Chinese Embassy to the US has been approached for comment.
The Chinese government strongly denies claims about persecution, insisting it is a ‘re-education’ programme against extremist views.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.