The Free University (VU) Amsterdam is closing the controversial institution that has conducted research in the field of human rights. The so-called Center for Intercultural Human Rights lost credibility because it was funded by China. This is sensitive due to the situation surrounding the Uyghurs and Tibetans in that country.
The NOS He wrote in January of this year about financing from China. VU later commissioned a commission to investigate the center.
According to the panel, there are no indications that individual researchers have “bought” their views or that self-censorship has taken place under pressure from Chinese funders. Also, there was not enough “openness and transparency” about the source of funds for the center. And VU itself says it “wasn’t alert enough”.
A researcher from the center previously stated that the plight of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority is not so bad. According to observers and Western countries, it is being systematically suppressed by the government in China’s Xinjiang region. Human rights groups accuse Beijing of detaining more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslims and of imposing forced labor and forcibly sterilizing women.
Victoria University says this provision falls within free speech, but the university does not agree with it. University President Magnificus Jeroen Geurts said: “Whitening or even denying the status of Uyghur Muslims is highly inappropriate and in no way contributes positively to improving the plight of this population group.”
VU also praises the role of NOS† What the journalists revealed “contributed to accelerating awareness of the risks surrounding the unilateral funding of the Centre.” This confirms “the value of an independent and free press that raises before us a mirror at various levels in society and politics, but certainly in the field of science,” according to the university.
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