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World Japanese manga about a Uighur woman’s persecution in China becomes viral hit

05:00  15 december  2019
05:00  15 december  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Japanese artist uses the power of manga to bring the repression of the Uighurs in China to a wider audience. December 14, 2019 at 9:46 AM EST. in Tokyo A Japanese comic book telling the powerful and tragic tale of a 29-year-old Uighur woman from China has become a surprise viral hit .

China is facing growing criticism over its persecution of some Muslim minority groups, huge numbers of whom are allegedly being held in internment camps. The claims were made by rights groups, but China denies the allegations. At the same time, there' s growing evidence of oppressive surveillance

A Japanese comic book telling the powerful and tragic tale of a 29-year-old Uighur woman from China has become a surprise viral hit.

"What has happened to me — A testimony of a Uyghur woman" recounts the story told by Mihrigul Tursun, a member of the Muslim minority in western China that has faced relentless crackdowns from authorities in Beijing.

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China ’ s Communist party is intensifying religious persecution as Christianity’ s popularity grows. A new state translation of the Bible will establish a ‘correct understanding’ of the text.

A manga by a Japanese artist based on the testimony of a Uighur woman who says she was detained and tortured in China after giving birth abroad has China runs a surveillance and predictive-policing system to crack down on large numbers of Uighurs and other minority Muslims in its far west Xinjiang

The manga — as all comic-style works are known in Japan — describes Tursun's imprisonment and torture by the Chinese government, the death of one of her young children while in custody, and the jailing of her husband for 16 years.

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Religious persecution is on the rise in China since President Xi Jinping became the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) five years ago, a new 8. Control over religion deepens in Xinjiang: Authorities put local restrictions on issues such as religious dress in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous

A Uighur Muslim woman told reporters in Washington, DC When she was arrested a third time, the treatment became even more brutal. The news of the mass internment of Uighurs in China is finally getting attention from the international community, the panel of scholars said at the press conference.

The manga, drawn by Japanese artist Tomomi Shimizu, has been translated into English, Chinese and Uighur.

Shimizu said it has now been viewed on her website more than 240,000 times, and her tweets have drawn more than 2.6 million likes, retweets and other online engagement.

It has been cited by pro-democracy protesters on the streets of Hong Kong and generated feedback from the United States to Europe, from Russia to Taiwan.

China has incarcerated at least 1 million Uighurs in reeducation camps in its western Xinjiang region.

The mass internment is framed by Beijing as a war on extremism, but it has been widely denounced as an attempt to stamp out Uighur culture and Islam and replace it with devotion to President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party.

Shimizu has not been in direct contact with Tursun, who now lives in the United States with her two surviving children, but the artist says she was inspired after hearing about the repression of the Uighurs and then hearing Tursun’s story.

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"The Chinese government is committing human rights abuses in Xinjiang on a scale unseen in the country in decades," Sophie Richardson, China "But the world has to know what the Chinese government is doing to the Uighurs . Even the dogs have more rights than the Uighurs in China ."

Another woman , who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her family, said As he sat in a Uighur restaurant in central Adelaide and recalled his own father’ s death, he was interrupted by All of the Uighurs interviewed for this report said they had experienced depression or anxiety following

“I thought, ‘What can I do?’ ” she said. “I started drawing cartoons 20 years ago, and I thought, ‘I can do manga.’ ”

It begins with Tursun’s marriage in Egypt five years ago and the birth of healthy triplets.

In 2015, Tursun flew to her hometown in China with her triplets to see her parents.

“But as soon as I arrived at Urumqi airport, I was handcuffed and put a dark sack over my head,” the manga quotes her as saying.

“My triplets were separated from me.”

Tursun says she had “no idea” what she was supposed to have done wrong. “Of course I didn’t commit any crime.”

She says she was interrogated and tortured with electric shocks before eventually being given the dead body of her eldest son. All three children bore scars of being operated on in their neck areas, she said. A doctor told her this was done to insert feeding tubes.

Soon after being released, Tursun was detained again and taken to a crowded prison camp, where she was repeatedly beaten and deprived of sleep.

“During day time, we had to pray to the Chairman of the Communist Party to live long, and sing songs hailing the communism,” she said.

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ROSSLYN, Va. — Speaking last month at a Washington think tank, Rushan Abbas relayed tales of suffering she had heard about China ’ s repression of ethnic Uighur Muslims — including the detention of members of her husband’ s family in a widespread system of mass internment camps.

But persecution ? I am very curious. If there are concentration camps in xinjiang, why can those people who claim to have been pers How did they escape the "concentration camps" and then take buses, subways and planes in China ? Even in the concentration camps established by the nazis during

“They forced us to take different kinds of unknown pills and have injections every single day.”

Tursun was sent to a mental hospital after losing consciousness during a beating and was then released a second time, only to have two Chinese cadres living in her home, eating her food and following her everywhere.

She was soon detained a third time, forced to wear an orange prison uniform and told to prepare for her death in prison.

Finally, only because her children held Egyptian citizenship, she was released to take them back to that country.

But, in a cruel twist, 26 of her relatives were then detained by the Chinese government, and she was told they would only be released if she returned to China within two months, she said.

Shimizu first heard about China’s treatment of the Uighurs on a TV documentary, and her first manga on the subject in May was called “No one will say the name of that country.”

In it, she described the destruction of mosques, the establishment of a surveillance state, the disappearance of young men, the ripping apart of families as internment camps are established — and finally the arrest of one woman for daring to call her land “East Turkestan,” a term used by Uighur separatists to refer to Xinjiang.

That manga brought her to the attention of Uighurs living in Japan, and she heard Tursun’s story at an event organized by Amnesty International and Meiji University.

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  China's next gambit to save its economy will export dystopia worldwide The detention camps where the Chinese government has interned more than 1 million Muslim Uighurs serves a dual purpose. It not only oppresses what the Chinese government considers a troublesome minority on its western frontier but also serves as a lab for the development of surveillance technology by Chinese companies. China must export these tools as part of its plan to transform its economy into a world leader in technological development."It's not unusual that colonies on the periphery become laboratories of surveillance and control that are then applied elsewhere," Philip Thai, a historian of modern China at Northeastern University, said.

The Uyghurs (/ˈwiːɡʊərz/, /uːiˈɡʊərz/; Uyghur: ئۇيغۇرلار‎, уйғурлар, IPA: [ujɣurˈlɑr]; simplified Chinese : 维吾尔; traditional Chinese : 維吾爾; pinyin: Wéiwú'ěr, [wěiǔàɚ]), alternately Uygurs

China is accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. It places the site just outside the small town of Dabancheng, about an hour' s drive from the provincial capital, Urumqi. To try to avoid the suffocating police scrutiny that awaits every visiting

Shimizu says her manga has had some coverage in Japanese media but not much, with one scheduled television appearance canceled at the last minute. Similarly, she says several editors are keen on publishing the manga, but she has been told that publishers are reluctant.

She suspects self-censorship and business ties with China make the story a little too sensitive for Japan’s cautious, corporate media and publishing industry.

“I know it is tough for mainstream television networks, but I just want ordinary people to know about this situation and think about it,” she said.

“This is not about some poor people in a remote country; I want people to see this as an issue relevant to Japan.

These Uighur people were also living an ordinary life, just like us.”

Tursun’s story ends with her returning to Egypt, only to find that her husband had followed her to China to look for her — and had been arrested and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Even after getting U.S. asylum, Tursun said she has been pursued and harassed by Chinese agents.

Tursun testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and appeared at the National Press Club in Washington in November 2018.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry disputes her version of events, saying she was taken into custody “on suspicion of inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination” but was only held for 20 days before being released.

Chinese officials said she was never sent to a “vocational education and training center,” as Beijing calls the camps.

It also denied that one of her sons died in the hospital in Urumqi, suggesting he had been taken to Turkey and entrusted to the care of a relative, calling her account “a lie fabricated with ulterior motives.”

“My oldest son who passed away will not come back no matter what,” Tursun says in the manga’s closing pages.

“So I gathered my courage and decided to tell the world what happened to me.”

Akiko Kashiwagi contributed to this report.

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