PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
East Turkistan Government in Exile
+1 (202) 599-2244, Ext: 1
5 April 2022
WASHINGTON DC — Members of the East Turkistani / Uyghur diaspora , led by the East Turkistan Government in Exile, in Istanbul, the Washington DC metropolitan area and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Edmonton peacefully demonstrated to commemorate the 32nd Anniversary of the 5 April 1990 Baren Revolution which later became known as the Baren Massacre.
In the spring of 1990, Baren Township, near Kashgar, in Chinese Occupied East Turkistan, suffered under a reign of Chinese terror unlike any other. As part of its decades long campaign of colonization, forced assimilation, and population control, China’s government was forcing Uyghur and other Turkic women to abort their babies.
The villagers of Baren finally had enough. At the time they had suffered under 41 years of Chinese colonization and occupation and they just seen 250 local women robbed of their babies. So they peaceful protested and when that failed they took up arms to defend themselves from the Chinese invaders.
The Chinese occupation forces responded by flooding Baren Township with People’s Liberation Army soldiers, and they began a massive massacre of innocent civilians, including women and children. According to different sources, anywhere from hundreds to thousands of innocent Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples were massacred with heavy weaponry and airstrikes.
Dozens of East Turkistanis in Istanbul demonstrated in commemoration of the Baren Revolution and condemned the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for remaining silent against China’s ongoing genocide and urged Turkey and the Turkish people to act against China’s genocide in East Turkistan.
“We condemn the silence of the Muslim world and Muslim organizations like the Organization for Islamic Cooperation for not only standing silent but also supporting China’s genocide of the Muslim majority Turkic peoples of Occupied East Turkistan,” said Fatmagul Cakan, the Istanbul Representative of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “We call on the Turkish state and the Turkish people to act against the genocide of their fellow Turkic brothers and sisters in East Turkistan,” she added.
In Washington, DC, the East Turkistan Government in Exile along with the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement held a demonstration with over a dozen Uyghurs in front of the White House where they urged the U.S. to act against China’s genocide in East Turkistan as well as the growing Chinese hegemony.
“Governments, including the Government of the United States must pressure the International Criminal Court to start investigations before UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet’s visit to East Turkistan in May. Furthermore governments, especially the U.S. Government must also file a parallel case at the International Court of Justice,” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.
“We again urge the U.S. Government to uphold its commitments to freedom and human rights by supporting East Turkistan and its peoples by recognizing East Turkistan as an Occupied Country, accepting more Uyghur refugees and being a voice of freedom and justice at the international stage. We urge the U.S. Government and its allies across the world to support East Turkistan in the same way that they are supporting Ukraine,” he added.
In Toronto, Canada, the East Turkistan Government in Exile along with the East Turkistan Youth Association of Canada held a march to commemorate the Baren Massacre and urged the Canadian Government to act to end China’s campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan.
“We urge Canada to uphold its treaty obligations and act against China’s ongoing genocide in East Turkistan,” said Haji Mahmut, the Deputy Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “We also call on Canada’s Government to secure the immediate release of Uyghur Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil who has been unlawfully imprisoned by China for the past 16 years,” he added.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile honors all those killed during the Baren Revolution of April 1990 as martyrs and sees it as a symbol of East Turkistanis will to restore their independence.