ISSN 2330-717X

Uyghurs Praise UN Joint Statement On East Turkistan (Xinjiang) – OpEd

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Fifty United Nations member states issued a joint statement on Monday, condemning the Chinese government’s oppression of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan.

The 50 countries that signed the joint statement are Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The joint statement was the largest group of states publicly condemn China’s ongoing atrocities in East Turkistan, which the U.S. Government and the Parliaments of over a dozen European countries have determined as genocide. On August 31, 2022, the U.N. Human Rights Office issued a report stating that China’s atrocities in East Turkistan may amount to crimes against humanity.

The joint statement was presented to U.N. Member states by Canada at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly’s Third Committee focusing on human rights. The joint statement by U.N. member states calls on the Chinese government to implement the recommendations of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) ‘s report on East Turkistan.

“This includes taking prompt steps to release all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in Xinjiang, and to urgently clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing family members and facilitate safe contact and reunion,” the statement reads.

“We thank Canada and ALL the 50 countries who signed onto this joint statement condemning China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan,” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “We urge the international community, including U.N. Human Rights chief Dr. Volker Turk, to act swiftly to end China’s ongoing Uyghur Genocide.” 

As usual, China used Cuba to put forward a counter-statement. Sixty-six countries aligned with China, including many Muslim-majority countries, shamelessly signed onto the Chinese counter statement. The counter-statement reads that the signatory nations “oppose the politicization of human rights… and interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.”

On October 12, 1949, the People’s Liberation Army under the People’s Republic of China launched a military invasion of East Turkistan. Several months later, the Chinese Communists overthrew the independent East Turkistan Republic on December 22, 1949, leading to the ongoing colonization and occupation of East Turkistan by Chinese forces.

“East Turkistan is not China’s so-called “internal affairs,” on the contrary, East Turkistan is an occupied country,” said President Ghulam Yaghma of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “We condemn the 66 countries, especially the Muslim countries, who support Chinese imperialism and the ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.” 

In light of the U.N. joint statement condemning China’s ongoing atrocities in East Turkistan, the East Turkistan Government in Exile is once again calling on governments, individuals, and organizations to pressure the International Criminal Court to launch investigations into China’s ongoing genocide in East Turkistan. 

On July 6, 2020, the East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement filed a legal complaint asking the International Criminal Court to investigate the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples.

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