China’s Arrests Of Uyghurs Continue, Despite Global Backlash

The Communist Party of China hasn’t made even little tweaks in its larger, nefarious agenda of systematically eliminating ethnic minority Uyghurs from its northwestern Xinjiang province, experts and Uyghur Muslims living in different parts of the world have said.

Various testimonies surfacing from non-Chinese world reveal that Beijing has in fact intensified its operations by putting more people in internment camps.

People who managed to escape the tyranny say all their family members who were left behind are now serving rigorous jail terms of 13 to 15 years.

Nursiman Abdureshid, an Uyghur Muslim who relocated herself to Turkey after she couldn’t find ways to attain higher education in China said that her family has been put behind bars for the simple reason that she managed to flee the country.

She hasn’t spoken to even one family member in over three years.”At that time I didn’t realise that they were taken to concentration camps but when I heard thousands of testimonies from people living abroad when they spoke about their families, I started to worry. But even today I don’t have any information. In 2018, I received a message from authorities that my family was arrested. I kept writing to Chinese officials and human rights organisations but didn’t get any kind of information. In June 2020, I got a phone call from the Chinese embassy in Turkey and they told me that my family was in prison,” said Nursiman while speaking at a virtual event organised by the Open Forum UK.

While Nursiman’s father and mother have been sentenced for 16 and 13 years respectively, her two brothers will also serve a combined rigorous jail term of two decades.

She says not just her but thousands of children are left alone with their entire families put in the internment camps. Another Uyghur Muslim, Rahime Mahmut, who has been living in UK for past two decades, said that it was the rapidly growing violent atmosphere in the region that made her flee the country.

She said that authorities were always keeping a check on her family and now her brothers have been put behind bars.

Rahime Mahmut, Project Director, World Uyghur Congress in the UK, said, “The disaster never stopped after the CCP occupied the region in 1949. They promised us autonomy in 1955 but it was never honoured. But the situation really worsened after the student movement. I have not been able to move to my country in the past two decades but at least I was speaking to my brothers and sisters. But one day, it was cut off. The last conversation I had with my brother was in January 2017. Every single story in the region is more horrible than the other. This is genocide. It has been taking place since 2017 and has been shielded from the international community”

Apart from sending Uyghurs to prisons, a systematic drive has been launched to control the birth rate in the region. Experts say it is an alternative way of ethnic cleansing.

“Birth control or forced abortions, which are aimed at preventing the population rise of an ethnic group are continuing and the evidence is there. It is also possible that the torture is directed in a way which is meant to destroy the Uyghur people in the region,” said Michael Polak, a member of the executive committee of the human rights lawyers association.

He said that under the genocide convention, the states can bring a case against a state (China) saying that the state is committing genocide and the international court of Justice gets to make that decision.

However, he added, “The countries are reticent because of Chinese economic clout. Islamic organisations have done very little. China is also putting up pressure on states around the world no to speak up about what is happening”.

The United States, he said, is the only country which has taken a few substantive actions against the Chinese. They have put restrictions on people involved or supporting the crime against the Uyghurs.

Experts say the USA could do it because it has bigger geopolitical clout than China. No other country has similar clout, therefore, doesn’t dare to stand to the blatant, inhumane atrocities committed by it. (ANI)

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