Activists call for end to ‘Chinese genocide’ against Muslim ethnic group

“Act now America… Act now to stop the genocide in China… Act now to save the Uyghurs… Act now to liberate East Turkestan. Protesters chanted outside the US State Department in Washington, DC, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan prepared to meet with Chinese officials in Anchorage, Alaska on the 18th. March. Awakening movement and the government of East Turkestan in exile.

“We are gathered here before the US State Department on behalf of Uyghurs and other East Turkestans around the world to call on the US government to act swiftly to end the Chinese genocide in East Turkestan,” Prime Minister Salih Hudayar said of the government of East Turkestan. in exile and political refugee.

“For decades since China occupied East Turkestan in late 1949, the Chinese government has waged a campaign of brutal persecution against the Uyghurs and other Turkish populations in East Turkestan. In recent years, Chinese colonization and occupation of East Turkestan has exacerbated what is now undoubtedly genocide, as defined by international law, ”he continued. “Since January 2021, the government of the United States and the parliaments of Canada and the Netherlands have officially characterized as genocide the atrocities committed by China against the Uyghurs and other Turkish peoples in East Turkestan.

Among the topics discussed at the two-day meeting between US and Chinese officials were China’s actions against the Uyghurs. According to NBC News, Secretary Blinken criticized China for its treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in East Turkestan. The Chinese Communist Party’s foreign chief, Yang Jiechi, responded by listing the human rights violations committed by the United States against black people.

Activists want the U.S. government to exert diplomatic and economic pressure on China to end reported abuses and genocide against Uyghurs and other East Turkestans. Photo: Courtesy of the East Turkestan National Awakening Movement

“China is firmly opposed to US interference in China’s internal affairs. We have expressed our strong opposition to such interference, and we will take firm action in response to human rights. We hope the United States will do better on human rights, ”he said. “China has made steady progress in human rights,” Yang added.

In the past, Chinese officials have denied accusations of genocide and instead called the Uyghurs a terrorist threat and the camps as re-education centers.

Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim population living in an area of ​​northwest China, although they do not consider themselves Chinese. Rushan Abbas, founder and executive director of Campaign for Uyghurs, told The Final Call that ethnically and linguistically they are close to Central Asians such as Uzbeks and Kazakhs. In the 1800s, the Manchu Empire of China incorporated East Turkestan as a colony and renamed it Xinjiang, the official name recognized by the Chinese government.

“The Chinese Communist Party occupied our homeland in 1949. And the name Xinjiang means new territory, and we don’t like to use it. It is a derogatory term. We like to call our homeland East Turkestan, which bears the symbolic, geographic and historical name of our ancestors, ”Ms. Abbas said.

During the protest, Mr. Hudayar said that more than three million Uyghurs and other Turkish peoples are held in concentration camps and prisons across occupied East Turkestan, and face rape, sexual and physical violence, torture, organ harvesting, sterilization, indoctrination and summary execution.

Activists say they want to draw attention to the mistreatment of Uyghurs and other East Turkestanians around the world.

“China forcibly (aborted) Uyghurs and other Turkish babies in an attempt to prevent our population growth and eradicate our nation’s future. Over the past 40 years, the Chinese government, according to its statistics, has aborted more than four million babies in East Turkestan under the pretext of family planning, ”said Amannissa Mukhlis, director of women and family of the National Movement of awakening of East Turkestan. .

“In recent years, the Chinese government has forcibly sterilized hundreds or thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkish women across East Turkestan, leading to a decline in our population as women can no longer give birth.”

She added that more than 850,000 Uyghur and other Turkish children have been forcibly separated from their families and sent to state-run orphanages and boarding schools to be assimilated and raised as loyal Chinese citizens.

“Children who dare to even speak in their mother tongue are forced to submit,” she said. “Our language, our culture, our history and our very physical existence are being eroded by the Chinese government. We humbly call on the US government and all government organizations and people across the world to act now to end this genocide. “

The situation in East Turkestan is not new. Ms Abbas accused the Chinese government of relentlessly trying to destroy the Uyghur people and culture since the occupation of 1949. She said that the first concentration camp was set up in 2014 after the Party’s general secretary Chinese Communist Xi Jinpin presented the Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure project stretching from East Asia to Europe to Africa.

“This makes our homeland East Turkestan the epicenter of this plan, and our homeland is also geopolitically important as it is a gateway to Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, ”she explained.

On September 5, 2018, Ms. Abbas spoke during a panel at the Hudson Institute, a think tank in Washington, DC, on the situation in East Turkestan. She testified about her personal horrors, as she said her husband’s entire family – her stepmother and stepfather, her husband’s four siblings and their spouses and 14 nieces and nephews – were missing in concentration camps.

“Six days after I spoke, my sister and my aunt were both abducted by the Chinese regime. I spoke on September 5, 2018. They disappeared on September 11 from two different towns about 1,400 kilometers apart, ”she said. China has repeatedly denied allegations of abuse and genocide.

Mr. Hudayar called on the United States to take meaningful steps to end the genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkish peoples by bringing the issue of East Turkestan to the agenda of the United Nations Security Council, continuing Chinese diplomats, raising tariffs, enforcing more sanctions, boycotting the Beijing 2022 Olympics, withdrawing the US Olympic team, acknowledging the root cause of the genocide, and recognizing East Turkestan as an occupied country. The Trump administration had previously imposed sanctions on several Chinese officials for the treatment of Uyghurs and in his first appeal with Chinese President Xi Jinping in mid-February, President Joe Biden raised the issue but was heavily criticized for do not do more.

Ms Abbas said you don’t have to be a Uyghur or a human rights activist to raise awareness of what’s going on. “All you need is to be a human being, to be a human being and talk about it, share the information you hear and boycott Chinese products,” she said. declared.

At Final Call press time, the Biden administration announced that it had imposed sanctions on two Chinese government officials for abuses against Uyghurs. Sanctions from the Treasury Department focus on Wang Junzheng, secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, claiming that the two were linked to serious human rights violations against ethnic minorities. in Xinjiang, NBC News reported.

“The Chinese authorities will continue to face consequences as long as atrocities occur in Xinjiang,” which is home to detention camps that have detained Uyghur Muslims, said Andrea M. Gacki, director of the Foreign Assets Control Office of Xinjiang. Treasury Department, noted

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