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Disney's Mulan boycotted for working with China security who are torturing Uyghur Muslims

Disney’s Mulan is facing calls for boycott following revelations that scenes from the new movie were filmed in China's Xinjiang province where millions of Uyghur Muslims are being tortured in concentration camps

Protests and calls for boycotts of Disney's new film Mulan are spreading on Twitter after it was revealed that scenes from the film where shot in parts of China where the government is committing mass human rights abuses, including cultural genocide against ethnic minorities.

Human rights activists, non-governmental organisations and journalists have helped identify as many as 500 potential concentration camp and detention centre sites in Xinjiang using a combination of satellite imagery and eyewitness accounts.

The calls for boycott began blowing up earlier this week, when several social media users noticed the final credits, which thanked a government security agency in Xinjiang province, where more than one million Uyghur Muslims are being detained.

"Mulan specifically thanked the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region committee in the credits. You know, the place where the cultural genocide is happening," tweeted novelist Jeanette Ng. "They filmed extensively in Xinjiang, which the subtitles call 'Northwest China.'"

READ: Uyghur rights activist Arslan Hidayet on the lack of international support and solidarity with Uyghur Muslims

The predominantly Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic minority have lived for years under increasingly expansive surveillance and repression in the region.

The action drama was originally scheduled for release in March 2020 but was delayed due to the global outbreak of COVID-19.

During a recent interview with Architectural Digest, the film's production designer, Grant Major, revealed that his team spent months "in and around the northwest province of Xinjiang".

Yesterday, British Conservative lawmaker Iain Duncan Smith in the UK parliament condemned Disney's work with the Xinjiang security agency as "appalling".

"It is shameful that they turn a blind eye. It is shameful that they act as apologists for a regime now that brooks no dissent," Smith said of Western companies collaborating with the Chinese regime.

The Turpan public security bureau was put on the US commerce department's trade blacklist last year over its involvement in the regime's repression of Uyghur Muslims.

Moreover, the film was already coming under fire months ago, facing calls for a boycott by supporters of the Hong Kong anti-government protesters after lead actor, Liu Yi Fei, publicly expressed support for the police crackdown in Hong Kong.

READ: US' Trump signs law sanctioning China officials for anti-Uyghur policies

Liu reportedly shared a social media post in August 2019 amid widespread protests in the former British territory, with the caption, "I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong."

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter noted that Liu added the hashtag #IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice and a heart emoji to her post which she shared to her more than 65 million followers.

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong called publicly for a boycott, with #boycottMulan becoming the most popular hashtag on Hong Kong Twitter on September 5.

"Because Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan," Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong tweeted.

He added: "It just keeps getting worse! Now, when you watch #Mulan, not only are you turning a blind eye to police brutality and racial injustice (due to what the lead actors stand for), you're also potentially complicit in the mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs.

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