A Call for Help from China: the Persecution of the Ughyur Muslims Continues

The last few months, we have tried to share as much news as possible about the ethnic cleanising of Uyghur Muslims in China. Unfortunately, their persecution evolves more and more towards a horrible reality.

Who are the Uyghurs?

In recent years, China’s juridical system stated that it aims to “Sinicize” Muslims or to make “religion more Chinese”. Thus, concentration camps have been built across Xinjiang – an autonomous region in northwest China – over the past few years which the state claims them to be “reeducation centers”.

Xinjiang, is the largest administrative region of China and borders eight countries – Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India. Its population is mostly Uyghur. Most Uyghurs are Muslim and Islam is an important part of their life and identity. In addition, Uyghur Muslims also have their own language, Uyghur, formerly known as Eastern Turki, which is a Turkic language with 10 to 15 million speakers. The language is spoken solely by the Uyghur inhabitants of Xinjiang and populations in the diaspora.

China’s Xinjiang province itself is home to approximately 10 million Uyghur Muslims – known as the indigenous to Xinjiang. But in the period of the Han Dynasty – the first Chinese dynasty – it established control over the western regions. Thus, most of the Chinese claim Xinjiang as part of China.

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Violations of human rights

There have been several violations of human rights against the Uyghur, but a big part of the international community still decides to keep silent.

  • Authorities in China have been collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, eye scans and blood types of millions of people, according to a new Human Rights Watch Report. “The mandatory databanking of a whole population’s biodata, including DNA, is a gross violation of international human rights norms,” Sophie Richardson, China director for HRW.
  • China has detained more than two million Muslims in concentration camps in the Xinjiang region. Most of them are never seen again. The Chinese government calls them “re-education camps” or “training centers” where only extremists would be detained.
  • After locking up the Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps, China is forcing some Uyghur women to marry Chinese men as part of a government assimilation program.
  • As if the persecution wasn’t enough, China was recently accused of harvesting organs from the prosecuted minority group. This happened during a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting earlier this week.

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Outrageous letter in support of the Chinese Government

In the letter to the UN Human Rights Council, ambassadors from 37 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America praised the country for its “contribution to international human rights.”

Among the countries, some prominent members of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. They justify Chinese conduct by stating that in the past the Xinjiang region had to deal with terrorism, religious extremism and separatism. According to those who signed, China has restored security and peace in the region by combating terrorism.

“We ensure that human rights in China are respected and protected in the fight against terrorism and deradicalization,” the letter said.