The below article was published by The Middle East Monitor, photo credit: Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]
The Dutch parliament yesterday declared the treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority in China a genocide in a non-binding motion, Reuters reported.
“A genocide on the Uighur minority is occurring in China,” the Dutch motion said.
This is the first such move by a European country on Uyghur Muslims, with human rights activists praising the move.
Founder of East Turkistan National Awakening Movement Washington based activist Salih Hudayar said on Twitter: “Following Canada and the US, the Dutch Parliament has passed a motion recognizing China’s atrocities against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan as GENOCIDE. Thank you Holland/The Netherlands.”
China’s Xinjiang region – East Turkistan – is home to around ten million Uyghurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 per cent of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused Chinese authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
China stepped up its restrictions on the region over the past two years, banning men from growing beards and women from wearing veils and introducing what many experts see as the world’s most extensive electronic surveillance programme, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Up to one million people, or about seven per cent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to US officials and UN experts.
A 2018 Human Rights Watch report detailed a Chinese government campaign of “mass arbitrary detention, torture, forced political indoctrination, and mass surveillance of Xinjiang’s Muslims.”
China has repeatedly denied allegations it is operating detention camps in its northwestern autonomous region, claiming instead that they are “re-educating” Uyghurs.