VU Amsterdam halts human rights research following Chinese sponsor controversy

Last week, the Cross Cultural Human Rights Centre of the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam found itself caught amidst a crossfire of press reports critiquing questionable funding by a Chinese University.

For now, all activity of the research centre has been stopped, reports the NOS. An official statement by the VU, says that research is being conducted regarding the independence of their Chinese sponsors.

Why has the sponsorship been stopped?

The Chinese university that has been sponsoring the VU’s human rights research for years might have influenced the university’s stance towards human rights abuses in China.

Specifically, journalists criticised the website of the research centre, saying it played down the systemic suppression and severe human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province.

Dispute over who is to blame

It now looks like no one really knows who is to be held accountable for the year-long, questionable sponsorship.

During a phone call with the NOS, an employee has said that the centre did not choose autonomously to stop all of its activity. Thirty minutes later, the same person allegedly spoke to superiors and took back the statement claiming that it was in fact the VU’s choice to stop the human rights research.

Can you smell that? Something’s fishy. 🤨

What do you think of this story and who is to blame? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image: PhotographerFromAmsterdam/Depositphotos

Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara moved to the Netherlands at fifteen and she is here to stay! After all, there is so much to love about it, except maybe the bread (as every German will tell you). Next to finishing up her bachelor's degree in European politics (dry), Cara loves to do yoga, swim, and cook delicious veggie food.


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