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End ‘brainwashing’ Muslims in Xinjiang : Amnesty to China

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Beijing, Sep 24 : Amnesty International has asked China to end the “brainwashing” and the mass incarceration of Uighur and other Turkic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region

Amnesty International in a report stated that China has held nearly one million Muslims  in “re-education” camps in the Xinjiang Uighur region.

In the past year, the government has intensified its campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation against the region’s Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, according to the report.

The campaign prohibits any display of religious and cultural affiliation, including growing an “abnormal” beard, wearing a veil or head scarf, regular prayer, fasting or avoidance of alcohol, or possessing books or articles about Islam or Uighur culture as Chinese authorities consider them “extremist” behaviour, reports Efe news.

It is estimated that currently nearly one million Muslims are being held by the authorities in re-education camps, without the right to trial, access to lawyers or contact with family members, the report said.

“The mass detention camps are places of brainwashing, torture and punishment. A simple act of messaging your family abroad can get you detained highlights how ludicrous, unjustified and completely arbitrary the Chinese authorities’ actions are,” said Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s East Asia Director.

The Chinese government justifies these measures as part of its counter-extremism and counter-terrorism efforts and only releases an individual who “has been transformed”.

Those who resist or fail to show sufficient progress could face punishments ranging from verbal abuse to food deprivation, solitary confinement or beatings.

“There have been reports of deaths inside the facilities, including suicides of those unable to bear the mistreatment,” the human rights organisation said, based on its interviews with former detainees.

Among them was Kairat Samarkan, who was sent to a detention camp in October 2017 after travelling to Kazakhstan and later released in February 2018. The Chinese authority accused him of “betraying his country”.

According to AI, Samarkan was hooded, made to wear shackles on his arms and legs and forced to stand in a fixed position for 12 hours.

There were almost 6,000 people held in the same camp as Samarkan, where they were forced to sing political songs such as “Long live Xi Jinping” and study speeches of the Chinese Communist Party, Samarkan recounted.

Travel abroad for work or education, particularly to majority Muslim countries, or contact with people outside China are also major reasons for suspicion, according to AI.

“Families have suffered enough. Hundreds of thousands of families have been torn apart by this massive crackdown. They are desperate to know what has happened to their loved ones and it is time the Chinese authorities give them answers,” said Bequelin.

AI called on the government of President Xi Jinping to put an end to this campaign of “systematic repression” against Muslims, a call raised on numerous occasions by many international organisations.

It is estimated that in China there are some 23 million Muslims or approximately 1.7 per cent of the population, among which are ethnic minorities such as Hui or others whose origins are linked to Uighur, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz or Tajik people in Central Asia.

World

Facebook blocked Israeli PM ‘s son for anti-Muslim posts

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his son Yair (File Photo- AFP)

Tel Aviv, Dec 17: Facebook temporarily banned Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for posting anti-Muslim posts, the media reported on Monday.

According to a report in The Times of Israel, Yair’s Facebook account was blocked for 24 hours on Sunday after he called for “avenging the deaths” of two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers who were killed at the West Bank shooting last week.

“Unbelievable. Facebook blocks me for 24 hours for simply criticizing it! Thought police,” Yari wrote on Twitter.

Facebook is yet to comment on this.

After the controversial Facebook post was removed, he wrote that the social media giant was “trying to shut our mouths in the only place where we have the right to express our opinions”.

Yari also posted a screenshot of the original post along with new posts criticising Facebook.

“Do you know where there are no terror attacks? In Iceland and Japan. Coincidentally there’s also no Muslim population there,” he posted.

This is not the first time Yair has been in the spotlight.

According to The Jerusalem Post, in 2017, Yair posted a diagram featuring antisemitic tropes such as Jewish billionaire George Soros, who funds left-wing causes and organizations in several countries.

“The post depicted Soros controlling the world via other conspiracy theory figures like lizard people, known as Reptilians, and the Illuminati or Freemasons,” the report added.

IANS

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Saudi rejects US Senate’s move on Khashoggi’s murder

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US President Donald Trump, sitting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Reuters Photo)

Riyadh, Dec 17: Saudi Arabia on Monday rejected recent moves by the US Senate over the murder of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Senate on December 13 voted to recommend ending American military assistance to the Saudi-led operation in Yemen, and accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of involvement in Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, reports Xinhua news agency.

The positions of the US Senate were based on “unsubstantiated claims and allegations, and contained blatant interferences in the Kingdom’s internal affairs, undermining the Kingdom’s regional and international role”, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement said that the the journalist’s murder was a deplorable crime which does not reflect the Kingdom’s policy.

Saudi authorities have said he died in a “brawl” in the consulate on October 2 and denied that the Crown Prince had ordered the killing.

The US Congress has urged a thorough investigation into his death and threatened to take more actions against Saudi Arabia, such as sanctions, if those responsible were not held accountable.

However, American President Donald Trump’s administration has been reluctant to further punish the Saudi government.

IANS

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Disaster

Indonesia’s Sulawesi island volcano erupts,spewing ashes upto 7.5 km high

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Jakarta, Dec 16 : A volcano erupted in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province on Sunday, spewing a column of ash measuring 7.5 km to the sky.

Mount Soputan erupted twice — first at 7.43 a.m. and the second at 8.57 a.m., an agency spokesman told Xinhua news agency.

There were no reports of casualties and the ash was not considered a threat to aviation, agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said on Sunday.

Ashes were spread toward south west and south of the crater and small tremors jolted the area.

“In anticipating the hot ash from sliding into the flank of the volcano and flows of cool lava, the community is prohibited from having activities at the radius of 4 km from the crater, and for the area at southwest of the crater the no go-zone has been declared at 6.5 km,” the spokesman said.

Mount Soputan is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia which lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”.

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