Uyghur activists call for urgent global action against China's ongoing genocide in East Turkestan

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
5 Min Read

Uyghur rights leaders called for immediate global action to address genocide and crimes being carried out by China against the Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and other Turkic ethnic groups in the East Turkestan region.

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This comes after the US State Department released its 2023 Human Rights Report on April 22.

“The East Turkestan Government-in-Exile (ETGE) calls for immediate and substantial global action to address the genocide and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by China against the Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and other Turkic ethnic groups in East Turkestan,” ETGE said. Still working.” Said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as in a specific section on China in the report, said that China's atrocities in East Turkestan (which Beijing calls “Xinjiang”) constitute ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity.

“These atrocities include mass detention, forced labor, and the forced labor of approximately one million Turkic children into Chinese state-run facilities,” the statement said.

In May 2014, the Chinese government launched a “people's war” on the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkestan under the guise of combating “extremism, separatism and terrorism”.

Later, by 2016, according to the statement, “due to the lack of international response and condemnation this so-called “people's war” had turned into a widespread campaign of genocide and crimes against humanity.”

In particular, key aspects of China's campaign of genocide and crimes against humanity include the mass internment of millions of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples in concentration camps, which are increasingly being converted into official prisons. Is; the forced sterilization of hundreds of thousands of Uighur and other Turkic women; And millions of people were enslaved through forced labour.

In addition, other aspects include the forced marriage of Turkic women to Chinese men, widespread destruction of thousands of cultural and religious sites, repression of religious practices, ban on native Turkic languages ​​in education, and forced separation of approximately one million Uighurs and other Turkic peoples. and assimilation. Children in state-run facilities, according to the statement.

Despite acceptance and designation of these acts as genocide by the United States and many other national parliaments, including the UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, France, and Belgium, the international community's response was largely limited to verbal condemnation without support. Has been. Effective policies or interventions.

“The Chinese government and the CCP are using genocide and crimes against humanity as tools to maintain their colonial occupation of East Turkestan,” said Salih Hudayar, ETGE's foreign minister.

ETGE urged the international community, especially leading democracies and international organizations to move beyond mere condemnation.

“It advocates the implementation of sanctions, diplomatic pressure, and other necessary measures to pressure China to end the ongoing genocide in East Turkestan,” ETGE said.

ETGE President Mamtimin Ala further expressed disappointment and said, “Despite detailed documentation of China's ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in East Turkestan, the global response is woefully inadequate. More than symbolic gestures are needed – decisive action must be taken to enforce treaty obligations to stop and punish the atrocities committed by China in Occupied East Turkestan.

Beyond rhetorical commitments, ETGE called for concrete steps to uphold human rights and end the genocide in East Turkestan.

“Specifically, ETGE is calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the Uyghur Policy Act (S.1252) and include the appointment of a Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues at the U.S. Department of State, as does the previously passed House version. (HR2766) does,” it said.

Furthermore, ETGE urges the US and other democratic countries to recognize East Turkistan as an occupied country and support its right to external self-determination, thereby addressing the root causes of China's ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity. can be addressed.

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