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Foreign Affairs

Massive protest in Dhaka against China’s repression of Uighur Muslims

At a time when China has become desperate to woo Bangladesh Government, people of the country have started a protest against the Chinese ‘invasion’ into the society of Bangladesh.

A massive protest was held outside Dhaka Press Club on Friday to condemn the Chinese brutality and suppression against Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Bangladesh Freedom Fighters organized the demonstration in memory of August 28 Uighur Repression Day saying that Muslims in many countries are unhappy with the inhuman treatment of Uighur Muslims by China’s Communist regime.

Last month when the Chinese medical team was given a red-carpet welcome at the airport people also protested, but at that time intensity of the protest was not so loud. This time it was quite a huge crowd that gathered in front of the natural protest place of the Capital Dhaka, National Press Club.

There are also reports given by the intelligence agencies that China and Pakistan have been able to infiltrate within the Bangladesh Government agencies and they have successfully made inroads in the administration. Recently, Chinese Embassy in Dhaka offered a huge sum of money for the Bangladeshi journalists for writing articles in favour of China’s dream connectivity project –Belt Road Initiative (BRI).

Initially, the Bangladesh Government has shown interest in joining the project but presently they are not showing so much interest as expected by the Chinese.

The Chinese government has reportedly detained more than a million Muslims in re-education camps. Most of the people who have been arbitrarily detained are Uighurs, a predominantly Turkic-speaking ethnic group primarily from China’s north-western region of Xinjiang.

Human rights organizations, UN officials, and many foreign governments are urging China to stop the crackdown. But Chinese officials maintain that what they call vocational training centers do not infringe on Uighurs’ human rights. They have refused to share information about the detention centers, and prevented journalists and foreign investigators from examining them.

However, internal Chinese government documents leaked in late 2019 have provided important details on how officials launched and maintained the detention camps. Human rights activists allege that most people in the camps have never been charged with crimes and have no legal avenues to challenge their detentions. The detainees seem to have been targeted for a variety of reasons, according to media reports, including traveling to or contacting people from any of the twenty-six countries China considers sensitive, such as Turkey and Afghanistan; attending services at mosques; having more than three children, and sending texts containing Quranic verses. Often, their only crime is being Muslim, human rights groups say, adding that many Uighurs have been labeled as extremists simply for practicing their religion.

A section of the intelligentsia of Bangladesh has recently started a campaign in favor of more direct engagement with both China and Bangladesh. Some of the retired officials are leading this campaign. Despite all these things, South Block in New Delhi is confident about the ‘blood relationship’ with the people of Bangladesh and the Government of Bangladesh which is rooted in the history of the Freedom movement. In fact, for this reason, now realization has come to the people and that becomes evident by this open protest.

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