CFU PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3 2023, 6:00 PM ET
Sabrina Sohail: sa*****@ca****************.org
On Dec 30th, 2022 (Beijing, China), Xu Guixiang, the ‘Xinjiang’ regional spokesperson, spread baseless lies in response to the documentary “In Search of My Sister” during the 81st Press Conference on the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU) condemns Xu’s statements as disinformation meant to deny the Uyghur genocide, attack Rushan Abbas (Executive Director of CFU), and villainize Rushan’s sister, Dr. Gulshan Abbas.
The full-length documentary, which was released to the public on Dec 10th, International Human Rights Day (film can be streamed here), features Rushan Abbas, as she searches for her sister who was abducted and sentenced to prison by the CCP. During the Dec 30th conference, Xu Guixiang made a statement claiming, “the anti-Xinjiang propaganda film In Search of My Sister was shot by the ringleader of Uyghur activists Rushan Abbas in collusion with Canadian film-making team.” Following the conference, this narrative was reported by Chinese state-run media.
‘In Search of My Sister’ was produced by an independent Canadian Production company, SkyBlue Productions, and highlights interviews with former camp victims, experts, and Uyghur activists. It also includes counter perspectives, and unaltered footage of CCP spokespeople, most notably Einar Tangen, a Political and Economic Affairs Commentator for Chinese state-owned media such as CGTN, CCTV, and China News. Some Uyghurs have found discomfort with the use of CCP propaganda in the documentary, however, the independent director kept the footage to allow audiences to form their own opinion.
Xu also baselessly stated that Dr. Gulshan Abbas “was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment … due to ‘participating in terrorist organizations, helping terrorist activities and gathering crowds to disturb the public order’”. In reality, Dr. Abbas is a kind, respected retired medical doctor in Urumqi who is not a political person.
The CCP has negated its own previous claims and attempts to spread disinformation about Dr. Gulshan Abbas and discredit Rushan Abbas. On Dec 23rd, 2019 the China Global Times Network published an article denying the existence of Gulshan Abbas and accusing Rushan of fabricating the familial relationship. In this most recent article, the remarks state that Dr. Gulshan is related to Rushan and was sentenced to prison in March 2019.
In response to Xu’s lies, Rushan Abbas said “I have mixed feelings but ultimately, I see this as the impact of the film. My innocent sister is suffering in a prison cell and the Chinese regime continues to demonize her with false accusations, however, the CCP’s attacks demonstrate that they are threatened by the documentary’s exposure of the truth and therefore feel the need to discredit it. I encourage people to watch the film. The story of Gulshan will continue to make an impact and we will never stop spreading awareness.”
CFU demands the authorities who are currently holding Dr. Gulshan Abbas illegally captive, to provide proof of life and release her immediately. CFU also calls on friends, allies, and partners to make the same demands and demand the release of Gulshan Abbas and the millions of Uyghurs currently suffering through genocide in its various forms of concentration camps, prisons, forced labor camps, and other genocidal policies.