BuzzFeed News wins Pulitzer for Uighur coveragePosted by Thomas Bush / June 14, 2021
BuzzFeed News has won its first Pulitzer prize for a series of innovative articles using satellite mapping and in-person interviews to expose the ongoing genocidal campaign against the Uighur peoples in Xinjiang. The first article (with accompanying links to subsequent articles) can be found here.
Despite China’s attempts to keep a lid on their atrocities, news keeps leaking out from Xinjiang (and beyond). Most recently, a Uighur woman describes being given “medicine” after being jailed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, but the medicine made her feel ill. She also described having her cell––and herself––hosed down with a powerful hose.
Three Uighur exiles have described experience both forced abortions and torture in Xinjiang. They are set to testify at a people’s tribunal in London investigating accusations of genocide in China. A German researcher has concluded that China’s birth control policies in Xinjiang could cut births among the Uighur people by 2.6-4.5 million, going a long way towards wiping the people out entirely.
China is using a variety of dramatic, authoritarian measures to cut Uighur birthrates, including forcibly implanting IUDs, abortions, and sterilizations. A top State Department official accused China of turning Xinjiang into an “open-air prison” and slamming the religious persecution of the Uighur. China is urging nations not to attend a pro-Uighur event planned by the United States, Britain, and Germany.
The Lithuanian government, meanwhile, has been ramping up its condemnation of the Chinese treatment of the Uighur people, coming close to calling it genocidal. The Chinese government has called such talk a “farce.”
A Uighur woman imprisoned in a 40-square meter cell with 40 other women has detailed her experiences, including electroshocks and beatings. There are dozens of such accounts in detailed in a recent report by the Human Rights Watch and Stanford Law School. A Uighur gynecologist living in exile in Turkey has described the horrors of China’s sterilization campaign. The doctor described up to 80 surgeries a day, designed to prevent Uighur women from procreating and thus serving as a form of genocide against the Uighur people.
Chinese websites are also advertising batches of 50 to 100 Uighur laborers, part of China’s forced-labor program.
Meanwhile, Beijing has begun airing propaganda films of detained Uighurs pleading with their relatives overseas to return to Xinjiang and stop criticizing China. The people in the videos appear thing and ill, a clear sign of the inhumane treatment they are receiving. The Chinese state-run media released a La La Land-esque musical set in Xinjiang. The film portrays an idyllic world, one in which there is, you know, no genocide against the Uighur people. The Australian Uighur community is outraged following the Canberra Chinese embassy played five propaganda films about how great things are in Xinjiang.