Uyghur Groups Call On World Leaders To Make December 9 A Day To Recognize Uyghur Genocide — H Talk Asia

Some 55 Uyghur organizations have called on world leaders to recognize December 9 as the Day of Recognition of the Uyghur Genocide. This marks the day a year ago that an independent UK-based Uyghur tribunal announced its findings that China has committed genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in its western Xinjiang region

The tribunal, held in London, based its ruling on testimonies from dozens of witnesses, including formerly detained Uyghurs and other local people, as well as legal and academic experts, about China’s actions in Xinjiang.

Although the tribunal’s decision was not binding as the panel had no government backing or authority to sanction China, its conclusion added to the growing evidence that China’s persecution of Uyghurs constituted a crime against humanity worthy of an international response.

The groups from 20 countries called on global leaders to take immediate action to end the Chinese government’s human rights atrocities against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs, which the United States and several Western parliaments have declared crimes against humanity and genocide.

“On December 9, 2021, after 18 months of investigations, perusal of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and hearings of witnesses, the Uyghur Tribunal declared China’s crimes in East Turkestan to be genocide,” said Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC ) using the Uyghur preferred name for Xinjiang.

“[B]By declaring this as Uyghur Genocide Recognition Day, we wish to draw the attention of the international community to this ongoing genocide,” he said. “By commemorating this day, we want to mobilize countries, peoples and international organizations to stop the genocide.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a report in late August that documented widespread abuses, including torture, arbitrary arrests, forced abortions and violations of religious freedom, and concluded that the repression in Xinjiang “constituted international crimes may, particularly crimes against humanity.”

Rejection by the Human Rights Council

But in October, China and its allies at the UN Human Rights Council narrowly rejected a US proposal to hold a debate on the report’s findings.

Uyghur groups condemned the move, saying what they said was China’s disregard for the UN human rights system. They called on governments to take measures to introduce forced labor regulations, impose targeted sanctions and step up support for Uyghur refugees.

The WUC, the Uyghur Human Rights Project and the Uyghur American Association hosted a press conference on Uyghur Genocide Recognition Day Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington.

Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland tweeted a video saying, “On the day of recognition of the Uyghur genocide, we must continue to speak out against the gross human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government. I call on China to immediately stop its atrocious genocide against the Uyghurs and allow free expression of religion.”

In October 2020, Cardin co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution to label human rights abuses committed in Xinjiang as genocide.

Translated by RFA Uyghur. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin. Edited by Malcolm Foster.