PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
East Turkistan Government in Exile
+1 (202) 599-2244, Ext: 1
13 May 2022
WASHINGTON — May 13, 2022 — A leaked list of over ten thousand detained Uyghurs, in the county of Konasheher, who have disappeared in China’s sweeping crackdown on East Turkistan (renamed Xinjiang) has surfaced, reports AFP.
“This leaked database is the tip of the iceberg, as there are over a hundred other counties across East Turkistan where Uyghurs are being imprisoned in similar if not greater numbers,” said Abdulahat Nur, Vice President of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.
“We estimate there are over one million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples who have been given official prison sentences while several million have been sent to the concentration camps and forced labor camps,” Nur said.
The Chinese government has long denied its ongoing campaign of mass internment and genocide against the Uyghurs.
Since January 2021, the U.S. Government along with the Parliaments of Canada, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the UK, and France have officially recognized China’s atrocities against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples as genocide.
In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense stated that China had sent some 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples had been to extrajudicial concentration camps which China calls “vocational training and reeducation centers.”
In September of 2020, the Chinese Government released a white paper defending its mass internment of Uyghurs, stating that some 1.29 million people per year had been sent to “vocational training” across East Turkistan from 2014 to 2019.
Uyghurs have analyzed the Chinese government white paper and concluded that as many as 7.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples may have been sent to concentration camps over the course of 6 years between 2014 and 2019.
This recent database leak comes ahead of UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet’s planned visit to East Turkistan later this month. East Turkistani / Uyghur groups and diaspora members have sent letters providing their home addresses in East Turkistan pleading with UN Commissioner Bachelet to visit their families instead of continuing with China’s scheduled Pomptekin tour.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and various Uyghur organizations have repeatedly called on the UN to publish its report on China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples. So far, the UN has failed to heed the calls made and has largely been turning a blind eye to the most pressing humanitarian issue of the 21st century.
“The UN must take a group of exiled Uyghurs comprising of representatives of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, family members of imprisoned victims, and even the concentration camp survivors who fled to the west as part of their investigative group to East Turkistan,” said Dr. Mamtimin Ala, the EU Representative of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.
International bodies, like the UN and the International Criminal Court (ICC), have failed to condemn and investigate China’s genocide in East Turkistan.
In July 2020, the East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement filed a formal legal complaint asking the ICC to investigate and prosecute Chinese officials for their ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan. Despite numerous legal filings and submissions of evidence, the ICC has failed to launch investigations.
“The ICC needs to act now, the evidence which they have requested has been provided and this latest Chinese police database leak shows the scope of China’s genocide against the Uyghurs,” said Salih Hudayar, Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.
“If the ICC and the international community continues to remain idle, it will have not only empowered China’s government but it will also show that they are complicit in the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples through the silent approval,” he added.
The East Turkistan Government again calls on the international community to uphold their commitments to ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and engage in humanitarian intervention by invoking international obligations under the UN Genocide Convention and the UN’s Responsibility to Protect principle.