ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Dozens of Uyghurs came in front of the USCIS Asylum office to join the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement to call for expedited asylum cases.
Salih Hudayar, prime minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-exile, says thousands of Uyghurs have been waiting in the U.S. for their asylum applications to be approved for years after fleeing China’s ongoing genocide in East Turkistan.
Uyghurs commemorate anniversary of massacre: “The situation has gotten a whole lot worse”
“Some have been here for almost a decade and they don’t have any papers,” said Hudayar. “They don’t have asylum. Applications haven’t been approved and so because of that, they’re not able to you know get work permits. Especially young students, young people are having difficulty getting a decent job. “
Demonstrators could be heard chanting, “stand up against china’s genocide,”, “stand up America,” and more.
The East Turkistan Government-in-exile estimates the total Uyghur population in America is around 10,000 to 15,000 as of 2021.
“We filed new evidence to the international criminal court on our case on china regarding the issue of you know the deportation of nearly 3000 words from Tajikistan. And these people are then subsequently sent to concentration camps.”
One survivor, Zumrat Dawut, talks about her experiences in the concentration camp and how she was able to escape. Arif Jan, General Secretary at East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, translates for Dawut in English.
“She was in a concentration camp in Urumqi for 62 days. They gave her a lot of a lot types of different kinds of medicines telling her it’s a vaccination. To get out of there, they forcibly sterilized her,” Jan said in translation for Dawut.
“In the concentration camps, people are being subject to forced, medication, forced indoctrination, torture,” said Hudayar. “If we can’t save the Uyghurs in East Turkistan, inside East Turkistan, inside the concentration camp. Let’s at least try to save those that are outside.”
Jan says there will be another demonstration next month, the time and place to be decided.