The Chinese government often forces dissidents to give televised confessions, and supporters of Heyit say the unverified video is very concerning.
“He seemed distressed in the video as if he was having trouble finding his next words to say with trembling lips. That is not the Abdurehim Heyit we have known,” Alip Erkin, an Australia-based Uighur activist, toldHong Kong’s South China Morning Post. “[The] video itself should be evidence of his wrongful and secret detention for expressing Uighur values in his songs, not as some sort of diplomatic victory for China.”
One thing Turkey’s statement has proven is that Beijing will respond to pressure. So on Twitter, Uighur activists started a #MeTooUyghur campaign, with family members of the detained asking the Chinese government to also release video evidence that their parents, siblings, cousins, and husbands are alive and healthy.
One Twitter user named Yultuz Tashmemet tweeted a photo of her mother in a fuchsia dress standing next to a vase of flowers. “China! As you did with our famous singer Abdurehim Heyit, show my mother in video too! She [has] been taken for more than a year! Show me she is still alive!” she wrote.
Year of (Peppa) the Pig: A tear-jerking viral video (see below) depicts a rural grandfather’s quest to provide his city-dwelling grandson a “Peppa” toy gift despite not knowing what a Peppa is. (Peppa is a pig from a British TV cartoon.) The video is actually a clever advertisement for a movie called Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year, yet its focus on the importance of family resonated with many of its viewers during the family-centered Chinese New Year holiday.