What is happening in Xinjiang?: Uyghur genocide

Photo from BBC

PA Media

Photo from BBC

For years the Chinese government has been accused of suppressing a Muslim ethnic group known as the Turkic Uyghur in the autonomous Northwestern region of the Xinjiang. Within the Uyghur ethnic group, long resentment has existed towards the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control. The CCP has maintained its sovereign authority in the Xinjiang region and believed it to be nonnegotiable and vital. When the group complains and resents, the regime swiftly represses harshly. The Uyghurs have faced mass surveillance and propaganda. With the growing concerns of how the Uyghur are treated, global leaders should put more pressure on China regarding the severity of the issue, and citizens should take action to lower the severity of the issue. 

According to a video by Al Jazeera English titled “What’s happening with China’s Uyghur? | Start Here,” the accusation is that China is attempting to exterminate Uyghur identity and culture. Activists who have escaped the Xinjiang region suggest that China is ending Uyghur culture in several ways, including indoctrinating children, forced labor, sterilization, and abortions. Along with the allegations, there are hundreds of camps where Uyghurs are detained without wrongdoing. Videos released by the Chinese government illustrate people and children in a joyful spirit and indulging in Chinese culture, but to what extent is that propaganda? China has a long history of propaganda, especially with Mao Zedong —  former communist leader — who built a cult personality with his manipulations. Detainees are often subjected to mental and physical torture, sleep, and food deprivation. The Chinese surveillance system in Xinjiang is severe. 

Another source published in Foreign Policy entitled China’s Crackdown on the Uyghurs is the Most Globalized Genocide in History by Amy Mackinnon highlights the pressing issue in Xinjiang, China. Nury Turkel currently serves at the U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom and was born in a detention center in the Xinjiang region. He is a first-hand witness to the repression of Uyghurs and other similar Muslim ethnic groups. He claims that nearly a million people are detained and subjected to inhumane treatment, including slavery and rape. Although there have been attempts to crack down on the issue, it has largely been unsuccessful because of mass surveillance and high government involvement. There have been efforts to mitigate the problem, including sanctions by former President Donald Trump’s. 

Based on the overwhelming evidence and countless testimonies from witnesses and survivors regarding the detention camps and leaked information, it is alarming that countries such as the United States are not pursuing more significant actions to address the issue. The Uyghur genocide is a horrific event that must be condemned and resolved by the international community. Individuals, governments, and organizations must pressure the Chinese government to halt the human rights abuses of the Uyghur ethnic group and hold themselves accountable for their crimes against humanity. We must not turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions of people and allow genocide to persist in the 21st century. The Uyghurs deserve dignity and justice, and it requires unity to work toward a world where oppression is reduced. You can click on this link to help: https://uhrp.org/take-action/.


The opinions stated in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the Wingspan staff as a whole.