A series of videos filmed by Uyghurs calling out former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his remarks about genocide in China was part of a larger state-orchestrated propaganda effort, according to a Thursday report by The Associated Press (AP).
The videos in which members of the ethnic minority commend the Chinese Communist Party and refute the allegations of genocide against Uyghurs have been published by the state media in recent months. However, a document sent in January to officials in the city of Karamay, Xinjiang, shows that the videos were nothing but a display of crude force by the state, according to The AP.
Videos of ethnic Uyghurs filming themselves denying human rights abuses are part of a Chinese government campaign that raises questions about the willingness of the participants, @AP finds. https://t.co/PlCAvY2MUX
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 20, 2021
Uyghurs fluent in Mandarin were reportedly ordered to address Pompeo’s remarks. “Express a clear position on Pompeo’s remarks, for example: I firmly oppose Pompeo’s anti-Chinese remarks, and I am very angry about them,” the document said, according to The AP. “Express your feelings of loving the party, the country and Xinjiang (I am Chinese, I love my motherland, I am happy at work and in life, and so on).”
“People don’t know who Pompeo is or what he’s saying,” said Tahir Imin, an Uyghur activist who fled China in 2017, according to the report. “How would they know what Mike Pompeo is saying about the Uyghurs?” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Buck Demands Answers On Apple’s Relationship With Companies Accused Of Using Forced Labor)
Both the man who leaked the document proving compulsion and his acquaintance who had obtained the text were arrested following the news, The AP reported.
The Xinjiang government said that Firdavs Drinov, the whistleblower, had been arrested for “fabricating and posting fake information” and “poisoning and bewitching ignorant groups and instigating splittism,” the report said.