PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
East Turkistan Government in Exile
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27 April 2022
WASHINGTON — A United Nations team arrived in China on Tuesday to prepare for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s expected visit to East Turkistan in May, reported Voice of America.
For years, the East Turkistani / Uyghur diaspora community and organizations and international organizations and governments have pressed the UN to speak out against China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan. In March 2022, the UN announced that Michelle Bachelet would visit East Turkistan in May. However, the Chinese government announced that the visit would be “friendly” and strongly opposed an investigation into its ongoing genocide in East Turkistan.
Given the unclear nature and objectives of the UN’s visit to East Turkistan, the East Turkistan Government in Exile fears that the UN trip serves as a propaganda show for China to whitewash and deny its ongoing genocide of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples. If an unfettered investigation is not conducted, it will damage the credibility of the UN.
“We still don’t know if this trip is a fact-finding mission to speak with Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples about their experiences and visit key places of concern or a trip that only symbolically reassures China that there is an international concern over the mistreatment of the Uyghurs,” said Dr. Mamtimin Ala, the EU Representative of the East Turkistan Government in Exie.
We hope that this trip that the UN has decided to undertake under the specific international critique is not simply ticking off the box approach in response to global concern,” he added.
It is well known that China has always been highly secretive about the situation in East Turkistan and especially the ongoing Uyghur genocide. The East Turkistan Government in Exile feels that there will be no transparency in the UN visit to East Turkistan under such a condition. Additionally, the UN has never made it clear so far as to how and if it will be conducting an investigation and whether it will be with the collaboration of China.
“It is highly likely that this planned trip to East Turkistan will be a showcase for both the UN and China to deceive the world into believing that the Uyghurs are okay. If this is the case, then the credibility of the UN will be deeply tarnished, facing more public mistrust and critique,” said President Ghulam Yaghma of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.
Uyghurs fear that China will manipulate the UN trip to East Turkistan to show the UN delegation what it wants them to see and not what is truly happening.
“We fear that the UN’s visit to East Turkistan will be the repetition of the International Red Cross visit in 1944 to the Jewish ghetto of Theresienstadt, which the world knows was an elaborate hoax put forth by the Nazis,” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.
“China will use this trip as an opportunity against the UN, the international supporters of Uyghurs and Uyghurs in general to spread false propaganda claiming that there is no such thing as the Uyghur genocide and the Uyghurs are the happiest people on earth,” Prime Minister Hudayar added.
Uyghurs and other East Turkistanis in the diaspora and international supporters have long called on the UN to release a report on China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples. The UN has failed to publish a report, let alone condemn China’s genocide, despite calls by numerous UN member states, including the United States, urging them to do so.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile urges the UN to reconsider its visit to East Turkistan and calls on the UN High Commission on Human Rights to include independent observers, including representatives of the East Turkistan Government in Exile or members of the Uyghur diaspora, in the event Bachelet continues with the planned trip to East Turkistan.
“If the UN is going to East Turkistan, it must carry out a full, unfettered investigation,” said Dr. Mamtimin Ala, the EU Representative of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “The UN High Commission on Human Rights delegation must also include independent observers, including a couple of Uyghurs, during the trip. The independent observers must be given the mandate to prepare their report independently,” he added.