With the expose on the atrocities of the Chinese Communist Party against the Uyghurs since January already circulating the web and international media, a campaign has been launched recently to discredit such news according to a report.
ChinaAid on Wednesday published a report by Bitter Winter on the Chinese Communist Party going "full force" in a propaganda targeting those who dared to speak against them.
Bitter Winter, a magazine on human rights and religious freedom, said in its report that the Chinese Communist Party's "disgusting campaign" aimed to malign witnesses through videos called "Proof of Life" aired online and in local television or through SMS messaging where the very relatives of the witnesses themselves speak against them.
"The full force of the Party's propaganda is deployed against women and men who dared to speak. Even their relatives in China are compelled to testify against them," read the highlight of Bitter Winter's article on the said campaign.
According to Bitter Winter, the propaganda is an attempt of the Chinese Communist Party to reclaim their high moral ground in their "war on terror."
The campaign "Proof of Life" involved videos wherein the relative of the person is shown to be living "in good condition" under the China Communist Party's rule and speaks against the relative while asking them to return to China. Meanwhile, the other campaign runs with a similar thought wherein the relative maligns the witness but comes as a news item sent via text message.
"A text message out of the blue from a relative begging them to return, hounding calls from officials, or as in Aziz Isa Elkun's case, a Chinese news feature with his elderly mother, castigating him for being a bad son, strike terror in the hearts of traumatized exiles, leaving them in a no man's land of grief and longing," Bitter Winter said in example.
While the "Proof of Life" videos tactic was discovered because of the case of Ferkat Jawdat whose mother, Munawer Tursun, was left in China and was not allowed to join him and his father in the U.S.. Jawdat's case became very sensational in China that the government released a video where his very mother was in and called him a "scum" for leaving China.
The video was supported by an article released in state-run propaganda outlet Global Times last November where Tursun praised "her life under the CCP" while calling Jawdat "trash" and a "stain on the family." Jawdat's uncle, Anwar Tarsun, also condemned him in the said article through his 'terrible' activities in the U.S.
The article was actually hitting two stones: Jawdat and former United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for announcing that the families of Uyghur activists are detained in Xinjiang, and that China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs.
It was a "western journalist" who exposed the tactic after locating Tursun in Xinjiang who, in turn, revealed that the "Proof of Life" video was scripted. Tursun showed the reporter how everything was done to come out with the video.
"She described the stage management, the scripting, the hours posing with various kinds of fruit and manipulation of the set," Bitter Winter said. "Because of the publicity surrounding her case, Ferkat now speaks with his mother every day, and has learned her true feelings towards him."
In their report, Bitter Winter revealed several other cases that used the "Proof of Life" videos. The Italy-based publication cited the Human Rights Project that, in a report entitled "The Government Never Oppresses Us," identified the existence of 22 "Proof of Life" videos released by the Chinese government.
The report, authored by Emily Upson, revealed that the videos portrayed the "disappeared," "imprisoned," "interned," and "persecuted" family members of Uyghurs left in China as living healthy lives and are "highly critical" of the witnesses speaking out against China's atrocities.
Bitter Winter said the Chinese Communist Party have modified the videos since it released its first clip to make it more realistic, especially after those who have watched it sensed that it is scripted such that a "flurry of activist-led hashtag campaigns" backfired on them. Two hashtags campaign have circulated so far: #MeTooUyghur and #MenmuUyghur.