Rushan Abbas, a whistleblower and Uighur activist based in Washington DC, has written an open letter to international pop star Rihanna, asking her to also raise her voice against the genocidal crimes perpetrated on Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese government.
In an open letter addressed to the award-winning singer, Abbas, whose sister has been placed in a camp by the Chinese authorities, asked: “Why aren’t we talking about this?” regarding the Uyghur genocide. “Why aren’t we talking about this?” was the phrase used by Rihanna in connection with the ongoing farmer agitation in India.
Abbas, the founder and executive director of Campaign for Uyghurs, wrote that while she did not wish to attack Rihanna, Hollywood is one of the reasons the entire world community has turned a blind eye to the plight of Uyghur Muslims.
“As the Chinese regime commits active genocide, it is also forcing the silence of Hollywood. In an industry that is quick to comment on social or political issues, this is a striking betrayal of the values of humanity. When the perpetrator has money, inaction on confronting it has been sealed,” she wrote in her letter.
Abbas stated that China has used its economic means to buy the silence of the NBA (National Basketball Association), of the UN (United Nations), of the (OIC) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and several other oganisations that should raise their voice. The worship of money has left so many celebrities, academics, and others as a hypocritical laughingstock, she said.
“As an individual whose sister is held in these camps, I can’t adequately convey the horror that reading the details of how these genocidal crimes are being played out brings to our entire family. We are one of the millions,” she wrote.
Abbas said that her plea to Rihanna is simple: “Please use your voice and the responsibility of your celebrity to refuse to bow to China’s blood money and its attempts to silence the world on its crimes against the very soul of humanity. The future of women, and the freedoms we cherish, are at stake.”
She also referenced the latest BBC report on the systematic rape of Uyghur women in the detainment camps where millions are being held.
Citing the example of Gulzira Auelkhan, Abbas said she told the UK publication that “the Chinese men would pay money to have their pick of the prettiest young inmates’” and that ‘You can’t tell anyone what happened, you can only lie down quietly,”. “It is designed to destroy everyone’s spirit.’”
Victim Tursunay Ziawudun also gave testimony to the BBC in which she said “women were removed from the cells ‘every night’ and raped by one or more masked Chinese men. She said she was tortured and later gang-raped on three occasions, each time by two or three men.”
Abbas said to Rihanna that her fight for the universal rights of young girls is very noble, but when over 500 thousand Uyghur kids are being abducted to be indoctrinated, Uyghur girls are facing government-sponsored forced marriage to Chinese men, and Uyghurs are facing genocide, “Why aren’t we all talking about this?”