Disney condemned for filming new Mulan movie in Chinese region where a million Uighurs are imprisoned in brutal camps

DISNEY'S latest flick Mulan is under the spotlight for filming in a region home to brutal camps where a million Uighurs are imprisoned.

The film is already making headlines for all the wrong reasons as fans condemn the decision to film in Xinjiang where China is accused of serious human rights abuses.

The remake of the classic Disney cartoon of the same name tells the story of a woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in place of her father in China's imperial army.

The final credits thank a number of government entities in Xinjiang province, where about one million people – mostly Muslim Uighurs – are thought to be detained.

It is believed that mostly Muslim Uighur people have been forcibly detained by the Chinese government in the high-security prison camps in recent years.

Leaked documents and testimonies from survivors reveal that inmates are locked up, indoctrinated and punished.

There has been growing international condemnation over China's alleged internment, indoctrination, and abuse of Uighur people across the Xinjiang province.

However, China has always  denied any wrongdoing, claiming the detention camps in Xinjiang are necessary to combat terrorism, improve security for anti-extremism training and dismissed the allegations as "fake news".

The film makes mention of the public security bureau in the city of Turpan and the "publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomy Region Committee".

The public security bureau in Turpan is tasked with running China's "re-education" camps where Uighurs are held in detention, China expert Adrian Zenz told the BBC.

In 2018 a BBC investigation found evidence of security compounds built in the desert in Xinjiang with Turpan said to be the site of the first "re-education camps" where Uighur women wearing veils or men wearing beards were detained.

An investigation by Buzzfeed News found that an estimated 260 sites have been purpose-built in the last three years, with at least one in almost every county of Xinjiang.

Mr Zenz issued a report earlier this year which uncovered evidence that China was forcing Uighur women to be sterilised or fitted with contraceptive devices.

The academic slammed the "publicity department" named by Disney as being responsible for producing state propaganda in the region and described Disney as "an international corporation profiteering in the shadow of concentration camps".

[Disney is] an international corporation profiteering in the shadow of concentration camps.

The World Uygar Congress also tweeted: "In the new Mulan, Disney thanks the public security bureau in Turpan, which has been involved in the internment camps in East Turkistan."

Activist Shawn Zhang asked: "How many thousands of Uighur were put into camps by Turpan Bureau of Public Security when filming Mulan there?"

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong also condemned Disney, tweeting that viewers watching Mulan are "potentially complicit in the mass incarceration of Muslim Uighurs".

And others have taken to director Niki Caro's Instagram page, criticising some of the on-set snaps posted over the last few months.

One woman said: "This is in East Turkestan, occupied by Communist China! Disgusting that Mulan was filmed here and that our Silk Road was mentioned in your film! How are you even thanking Chinese entities that support the Uyghur genocide!"

Another replied: "Uyghur girls are raped and tortured in concentration camps and at the same time they are making movie about female hero just next door. This gone be a historic moment."

Like the original, the new Mulan remake tells the story of a young girl who takes her father's place in the army.

The film, which is one of the biggest releases of the year, stars Liu Yifei as the titular character alongside Donnie Yen and Jason Scott Lee.

Yifei has already become the target of a boycott after the Chinese-born actress backed a crackdown on Hong Kong protesters.

In recent months, she made comments supporting Hong Kong's police who have been accused of violence against pro-democracy protesters.

Disney has not commented on the row over the locations and the credits.

In 2017 Mulan director Niki Caro posted photos on Instagram from the capital of Xinjiang.

The production team behind the film also told the Architectural Digest magazine that they spent months in Xinjiang to research filming locations.

The £150million ($200million) live-action remake will be available to Disney+ users for free from December and can also be viewed for a one-off fee on the Netflix-style streaming app.

Calls for secretive China to let the world in

HUMAN rights group Amnesty International has called on China to allow independent experts to assess the situation in Xinjiang if it really does have “nothing to hide”.

Nicholas Bequelin, the group's Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, told Sun Online: “We have documented an intensifying government campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups living in Xinjiang.

“Despite such evidence, China has repeatedly denied that it is carrying out human rights violations in Xinjiang, or even that the camps exist, And it is almost impossible to independently verify their claims given the extreme constraints to reporting in the region.

“But if China has nothing to hide, it should allow independent UN experts to assess the situation and allow Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minorities to freely communicate with their relatives overseas.

"Until now, this is something the Chinese authorities have refused to do.”

One camp survivor, Kairat Samarkan, told Amnesty he was forced to stand in a fixed position for 12 hours when first detained.

He was not allowed to talk to the nearly 6,000 others held in the same camp, and had to chant “Long live Xi Jinping” before meals.

He said his treatment led him to attempt suicide just before his release.

According to an online victims' database, dozens of Uighurs have died while in custody or soon after their release.

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