The below article was published by News Vibes of India, photo credit: Murad Sezer/Reuters
Washington: Uyghurs, the aborginal Muslim people of China-occupied East Turkistan, have made an impassioned appeal to the “conscience of the international community”, asking whether the world would act in time to end their genocide at the hands of the Chinese or just keep watching.
Stressing the great urgency, East Turkistan Government-in-Exile (ETGE), which represents the voice of Uyghurs and East Turkistanis worldwide, said, “It’s time for the world to step beyond mere acknowledgment and take swift, irrevocable action to hold China accountable” as Beijing remains steadfast in eradicating their race.
In a press statement, it said, “We stand at a crossroads…. History will remember this moment. Will the world act to prevent a nation’s eradication, or will we let this dark chapter be written into history unchallenged, paving the way for similar atrocities to occur in the future?
It said the ETGE “once again implores the conscience of the international community” and “calls upon the international community, world governments, media organizations, and human rights institutions to confront the undeniable, horrifying reality of a full-scale genocide currently being orchestrated by the Chinese government.”
The statement has been issued in the context of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s latest speech in East Turkistan, “in which he called for the continuation of China’s genocidal policies against Uyghurs.”
The ETGE said the Uyghurs, along with other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan, are not just enduring but struggling to survive a calculated and relentless genocide.
“Despite waves of global outrage, President Xi Jinping remains steadfast in his chilling commitment to execute China’s genocidal master plan in East Turkistan,” it said.
Since Chinese occupation of East Turkistan in 1949, China’s policy of colonization and assimilation has culminated in a formal policy of genocide under the leadership of Xi Jinping in 2014, the press release said.
“Over three million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples languish in concentration camps and prisons, subjected to unthinkable atrocities: forced labor, involuntary sterilizations, ideological brainwashing, organ harvesting, forced marriages, and sexual assault, including the heart-wrenching forced separation of almost a million Uyghur and Turkic children from their families,” the ETGE said.
“China’s ongoing genocide, cloaked in contorted euphemisms such as ‘anti-terrorism’, ‘anti-secession’, and ‘synicising Islam’ stands testament to a wholesale attack seeking to annihilate Uyghur and other Turkic people to extinguishing East Turkistan’s independence struggle,” it said.
Quoting Prime Minister of ETGE Salih Hudayar, it said, “What we are facing in Occupied East Turkistan is a humanitarian crisis of unparalleled magnitude in the 21st century. The systematic destruction of a nation is not something the world can afford to ignore.”
The ETGE leader noted that Governments including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium have made significant strides by recognizing China’s actions as both genocide and crimes against humanity. ‘”However, without immediate, consequential action, this recognition falls perilously short,” he said.
“The imperative is clear: democratic societies that champion human rights, liberty, and the sanctity of life, as well as authoritative bodies like the United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), must act now,” Hudayar said.
President Ghulam Yaghma of the ETGE was quoted as saying, “We demand actions, not just words. The international community’s selective response effectively grants China a free pass to continue its genocidal assault on East Turkistan and its people.”
The ETGE regretted that “the United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Court, and even governments that promote human rights and freedom have looked away.”
This is despite the ETGE’s extensive and well-documented case submitted to the ICC in 2020, further supported by irrefutable evidence in 2021 and 2022, imploring the ICC to launch an investigation against Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping himself, it said.
“The contradiction is glaring: while the UN Security Council has addressed the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Putin over Ukraine, both remain conspicuously inactive against China,” the ETGE said.