Labour’s Abbott Says She Condemns Mistreatment of ‘Muslims in Uyghur’ After Sharing Platform with Deniers

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Labour’s Diane Abbott has said she condemns the mistreatment of “Muslims in Uyghur” — which is not a place — after sharing a platform with people who deny Chinese Communist Party (CCP) abuses.

The gaffe-prone parliamentarian, 67, had been silent for some time about her participation in a Zoom-based event in which the abuse of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, or Sinkiang, also known as East Turkestan or Chinese Turkestan, was denied.

It is widely acknowledged that China’s communist regime is corralling Uyghurs into so-called re-education camps in large numbers, as well as carrying out forced sterilisations of Uyghur women and other measures which have seen their population shrivel as Han Chinese move into the region in increasing numbers.

The online summit, titled ‘Uniting Against Racism and the New Cold War’, saw Li Jingjing, a journalist at an English-language Chinese propaganda broadcaster, claim that such reports are “fictions” invented by “those people who try to create racial war in China”, as are similar reports of CCP abuses in Tibet.

After heavy criticism, Abbott finally addressed the scandal on social media, claiming she “had no idea there were people on the call who denied Chinese harassment and massacres of Muslims in Uyghur.”

Observers hoping she may have simply misspoken — or mistyped — in suggesting that Uyghur was the name of a place rather than a people were soon let down, with the Labour MP confirming her ignorance in a second tweet reiterating that “Both I and the Labour Party condemn the human rights violations in Uyghur.”

Abbott, who until recently was a senior member of the Shadow Cabinet, is no stranger to such gaffes, being (in)famous for her poor grasp of numbers, once suggesting, for example, that a Labour government could recruit “10,000 policemen and women over a four-year period” for the comically small sum of “about £300,000”.

She also raised eyebrows when she showed up to a polling station during the December 2019 election wearing two left shoes.

More ominously, however, she is also no stranger to apologism on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party regime, having once contended that founding dictator Mao Zedong, responsible for tens of millions of deaths, “on balance did more good than harm”.

She also voiced support for the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) terror campaign waged against British servicemen, police officers, politicians, and civilians in her youth, declaring: “[E]very defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us. A defeat in Northern Ireland would be a defeat indeed.”

She added that she “couldn’t identify as British” herself.

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