Uyghurs urge UN GA to halt China’s genocide in East Turkestan

3 Min
Uyghurs urge UN GA to halt China’s genocide in East Turkestan

Washington DC: The East Turkestan Government in Exile has issued an immediate and urgent plea to the 78th United Nations General Assembly and its member states for immediate and decisive action to halt China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples.

This comes in light of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent invigorated commitment to persist with genocidal actions in East Turkestan
“China’s ongoing genocide in East Turkestan is arguably the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time. The deafening silence and paralyzing inaction of the international community are not just a betrayal of the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples but a disturbing collapse of our shared human conscience,” said a press statement issued by Ghulam Yaghma, President of East Turkestan Government-in-Exile (ETGE).

Since 2014, China’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in East Turkestan (Xinjiang province) have escalated to include the mass internment of over three million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in an archipelago of concentration camps, prisons, and slave labor camps.

“Beyond this, China’s ongoing genocide in East Turkestan encompasses forced labor, sterilizations, cultural erasure and assimilation, the separation of nearly one million Uyghur children from their families, state-sponsored rape, and the suppression of religious freedom,” added the statement.

The United States and the Parliaments of multiple Western nations-including Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and France-have officially labelled China’s actions as ‘genocide.’

A 2022 UN report has further corroborated that these crimes may amount to ‘crimes against humanity.’

“Democratic nations, spearheaded by the United States, must urgently prioritize the East

Turkestan issue at both the UN General Assembly and Security Council,” stated ETGE Strategic Advisor Dr Mamtimin Ala.

“A failure to act lays bare a catastrophic shortfall in our global human rights architecture and represents a grave moral failure,” he added.

Bound by the 1948 Genocide Convention, all UN member states have a treaty obligation to prevent and punish genocide. Yet, most Western nations have merely issued symbolic condemnations of China’s genocidal actions in East Turkestan, failing egregiously to enact meaningful preventative measures. Their glaring double standards become all the more apparent when juxtaposed with their reactions to Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine.

The passive stance of Muslim-majority and Turkic states, like Turkey, is profoundly disconcerting, given their obligations to their fellow co-religionists and ethnic kin.

The inconsistent stances of Western nations on crises like Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and China’s ongoing genocide necessitate immediate course correction.

The ETGE calls on the UN and its member states to adopt a multi-pronged strategy that unequivocally condemns China’s genocidal campaign in East Turkestan and provides asylum for those fleeing the horrors.

“The strategy should also include supporting East Turkestan’s pursuit of justice through the International Criminal Court and other international bodies, thwarting Chinese intelligence activities against the Uyghur diaspora, and elevating the East Turkestan issue on the UN Security Council’s agenda”, said a press statement.

It added, “Additionally, it should advocate for diplomatic boycotts of China-hosted events, enforce the Genocide Convention, honour the Responsibility to Protect mandate, recognize East Turkestan as an occupied country, and support the decolonization and empowerment of occupied nations like East Turkestan, Tibet, and Southern Mongolia”.

Established in 2004 and based in Washington, DC, the East Turkestan Government in Exile (ETGE) serves as the official democratic representative body for the East Turkestpeople in exile.

Earlier in 2022, China responded furiously to a United Nations report on alleged human rights abuses in its northwestern Xinjiang region targeting Uyghurs and other mainly Muslim ethnic minorities.

The report has been in the works for years and was released despite Chinese efforts to delay or block it, aware of how it could validate claims that more than 1 million ethnic minority members were forcibly sent to centres it says were for vocational training.

Those who were held, their relatives and monitoring groups describe them as prison-like reeducation centres where inmates were forced to denounce Islam and their traditional culture while swearing fidelity to the ruling Communist Party.

The camps have been part of a widespread campaign of repression in Xinjiang, allegedly including involuntary sterilizations of women, forced labour, the demolition of mosques and other religious sites, the separation of Muslim children from their families and the harassment of minority members living abroad.

—–ANI reoirt in Times of India, Sep 14, 2023, 04.14 PM IST