The United States of America has led the world in holding the perpetrators of the most heinous human rights abuses accountable. From the Nuremberg Trials, to the creation of the Genocide Convention in 1948, to the declaration of ISIS’s recent genocide against the Yazidis, Christians, and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, Americans have given voice to those who have been silenced by evil, and stood with the living who cry out for truth, the rule of law, and justice. political concern. We do so because it is right.
Earlier this week the US government announced that the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, China.
“I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We will not remain silent. If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future,” he said.
Since at least March 2017, local authorities dramatically escalated their decades-long campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz. Their morally repugnant, wholesale policies, practices, and abuses are designed systematically to discriminate against and surveil ethnic Uyghurs as a unique demographic and ethnic group, restrict their freedom to travel, emigrate, and attend schools, and deny other basic human rights of assembly, speech, and worship. PRC authorities have conducted forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women, coerced them to marry non-Uyghurs, and separated Uyghur children from their families.
Party apparatchiks have denied international observers unhindered access to Xinjiang and denounced reliable reports about the worsening situation on the ground, instead spinning fanciful tales of happy Uyghurs participating in educational, counter-terror, women’s empowerment, and poverty alleviation projects. Meanwhile, they are delivering far darker messages to their own people, portraying Uyghurs as “malignant tumors,” comparing their faith to a “communicable plague,” and exhorting the Party faithful to implement a crushing blow, telling them “you can’t uproot all the weeds hidden among the crops in the field one-by-one; you need to spray chemicals to kill them all.”
These crimes are ongoing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians, forced sterilization, torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained, forced labor, and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. The Nuremberg Tribunals at the end of World War II prosecuted perpetrators for crimes against humanity, the same crimes being perpetrated in Xinjiang.
“This genocide determination must be a wake-up call for the world. We urge governments across the world to disengage from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and stop this continued oppression of Uighur and Turkic Muslims,” said Serwi Huseyin, team lead for the Save Uighur Campaign.
The United States has called upon the PRC to immediately release all arbitrarily detained persons and abolish its system of internment, detention camps, house arrest and forced labor; cease coercive population control measures, including forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced birth control, and the removal of children from their families; end all torture and abuse in places of detention; end the persecution of Uyghurs and other members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China, and afford Uyghurs and other persecuted minorities the freedom to travel and emigrate.
The U.S. Department of State will continue to investigate and collect relevant information regarding the ongoing atrocities occurring in Xinjiang, and to make this evidence available to appropriate authorities and the international community to the extent allowable by law.
During the past two years 21Wilberforce has encouraged Americans to reach out to their representatives in Congress in support of not letting the Communist Party exploit and profit from religious discrimination and slavery. You shared information and tools in our freedom center that directly connects Americans with their representatives in Congress. And you stood with the Uyghurs by praying for them and the horrors occurring in the camps. Your voice matters.