TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A video released by Chinese authorities “confirming” detained Uighur musician Abdurehim Heyit is still alive has prompted an unexpected social media movement, with people across the diaspora demanding China proves their captive friends and relatives are alive too.
What was the Communist Party’s attempt at diffusing tension following Turkey’s outcry over the treatment of people in Xinjiang appears to have backfired. Now, the hashtags #MeTooUyghur and #menmuUyghur are spreading across Twitter and other social media platforms, encouraging people to rally against the ongoing human rights abuses.
Uighurs in exile around the world are calling for China to post proof-of-life videos of their friends and relatives. Among those participating in the campaign is Arslan Hidaat, son-in-law of popular Uighur comedian Adil Mijit.
In his video, Hidaat reiterates that his father has been missing for over three months and demands the Chinese government releases a video proving he is alive, along with proof of life for “the rest of our three to five million brothers and sisters who have been locked up in Chinese concentration camps.”
The campaign was thought up by Finland-based doctor and human rights activist Halmurat Harri Uyghur, who told VOX it was devised as a way to parry China’s latest “attack” of releasing Heyit’s video message. His initial call for action has been viewed over 3,000 times, and photo messages from other relatives of Uighur prisoners are spreading rapidly across Twitter and other social media platforms.
The movement has already caught the attention of multiple major international media outlets, raising awareness of a plight still largely under-reported.