WASHINGTON: The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE), led by Prime Minister Salih Hudayar, rallied in front of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, to commemorate East Turkistan’s Independence Day and the 87th Anniversary of the First East Turkistan Republic (1933-1934) and the 76th Anniversary of the Second East Turkistan Republic (1944-1949).
The ETGE held similar demonstrations and events in Japan, Turkey, France, and Canada.
The Canadian Parliament’s House of Commons also commemorated East Turkistan’s National Independence Day. Prime Minister Hudayar thanked the Canadian Parliament and called on the Canada’s Government to “formally recognize East Turkistan as an Occupied Country.”
In 1876, the Manchu Qing Dynasty invaded East Turkistan and renamed to “Xinjiang (New Territory)” in 1884. On November 12, 1933, East Turkistan’s people overthrew Chinese occupation, only to be overthrown six months later on April 16, 1934. On November 12, 1944, the Second East Turkistan Republic was established. Five years later, the Chinese invaded, once again and overthrew the East Turkistan Republic on December 22, 1949.
The Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tatar, and other peoples of East Turkistan have spent the last 71 years fighting to restore their independence. For the last six years, millions of East Turkistanis, mostly of Muslim faith, have been held in concentration camps, prisons, and slave labor camps. According to survivors’ accounts, they’re being tortured, killed for their organs, raped, sterilized, and executed.
“Our towns, our religious places of worship, and even our cemeteries have been destroyed as China seeks to leave no evidence that we existed,” Prime Minister Hudayar said on Thursday. “For us, there is only one solution, and that is the restoration of our country; East Turkistan’s independence. For without independence, we will have no human rights.”
The ETGE is advocating for official recognition from the world’s governments and parliaments. U.S. senators have introduced a bipartisan resolution that would declare the human rights abuses as a genocide.
In June, President Donald Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act into law. The Canadian Parliament has recognized the atrocities as a genocide.
“We face and continue to face numerous obstacles and malicious efforts by China and its agents to coerce, infiltrate, influence, and undermine the East Turkistan Government in Exile and East Turkistan’s struggle to regain our independence,” Hudayar said. “However, we have full faith that with the support of our people and our foreign friends, we will able to overcome these obstacles and malicious efforts. Nothing can stop us from pursuing our right to exist as a free and independent country.”
Prime Minister stated that he thanks the people of Bangladesh and all the other supporters worldwide for commemorating East Turkistan’s Independence Day and for protesting against China’s genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan.
ETGE’s calls to action
- We call on our people and various organizations across the diaspora to play a more active role in further strengthening our developing democracy and to continue working with us to restore our country’s independence as soon as possible.
- We call on our friends and supporters worldwide to do more as their capabilities permit us to support East Turkistan and its people.
- We urge the international community, world leaders, organizations, and individuals to put themselves in our place, even if for a moment, and hear our plea for help.
- We call on governments worldwide to take action against the Holocaust of the 21st Century, taking place in Occupied East Turkistan.
- We call on governments to recognize China’s atrocities for what it is, a genocide.
- We call on governments to recognize East Turkistan as an Occupied Country and help us through all means possible to regain our independence and put an end to China’s prolonged campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation, which it has been undertaking for the past 71 years.