A Chinese woman purportedly studying in Brisbane, Australia, was recently filmed rejecting the claim of Uyghur Muslims being detained in “concentration camps” in China as she took down posters featuring photos of the Tiananmen Square protests created to support Hong Kong’s democracy.
The incident, filmed by Billie Kugelman, chief editor of student newspaper Semper Floreat at the University of Queensland, was shared online by Drew Pavlou, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who is running to “represent Queensland in the Australian senate.”
The video shows the unidentified woman, whose face is blurred, arguing with Kugelman as she tears down posters from the university’s Lennon Wall.
“You are ruining my liberty. I don’t want to show my face,” the woman tells Kugelman. “I just want to show that I’m not (afraid) to show my freedom.”
Kugelmen responds by saying her face will be blurred in the video, then says, “Can you tell me a bit about why you think it’s right to rip these down?”
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“Do you think you are right to tell these lies to the students, especially those teenagers?” the woman replies, referring to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and its photos featured on the posters, one of them being the iconic photo of the “Tank Man.”
“I don’t think they are lies,” Kugleman responds. He asks her if she knows what happened during the massacre – which occurred around 33 years ago – to which she replies, “No, I don’t know about that because it happened 40 to 50 years ago… It happened decades ago. I’m just thinking about now, thinking about the future, the students, the teenagers. What’s your big influence by this wall?”
“I think the intent is to make them think twice about what’s happening,” Kugelman replies. He eventually brings up the Uyghurs, a Muslim-majority ethnic minority in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) that has been described as the “most persecuted ethnicity” in China, as NextShark previously reported.
“As far as I’m aware, there are Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps,” Kugelman tells the woman after she brings out her phone and fails to show him what “what China is looking like.”
The woman then laughs exaggeratedly at the term “concentration camps.”
“You have jails in Australia, you have jails in Australia,” the woman says as she walks out on Kugelman.
Pavlou identified the woman as a “Chinese international student” in his tweet on Thursday, but Kugelman corrected him, saying that the woman claimed she was not a student of the university.
“Security at my university on Tuesday took photos of myself and alumni protesters against Boeing’s association with war crimes, particularly those in West Papua. So no, I won’t give them her face,” he wrote.
Pavlou recently drew international attention for his campaign to produce and hand out T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Where is Peng Shuai?” at the 2022 Australian Open. The shirts refer to the Chinese tennis star who disappeared from the public eye for two weeks after making sexual assault accusations against a Chinese official.