Speakers Urged China to Stop Crackdown on Uyghur

Bonn, March 21 (OurVoice/EBF): Speakers at a virtual conference on ‘China’s persecution of Uyghur Muslims: The silence of the World’ on Saturday vehemently criticized the Chinese government for its systematic way of crackdown on the Uyghur community members in China, especially in the detention centers.

They said, the US government, Canadian parliament and Dutch parliaments recognized the Chinese oppression of Uyghurs as ‘Genocide’ and called upon other European governments to follow them and take action to prevent genocide from happening. The speakers mentioned that sanctions by EU on some Chinese officials was a good start, but EU should expand these sanctions on other Chinese officials, who are responsible for Uyghur genocide as well as Chinese High Tech companies aiding surveillance and forced labor.

It is time for the Security Council to act, they further added, the European countries can bring the issue to the UN Security Councils and the UN Human Rights Council. The European government should help mobilize the US and other countries to fight back against the Chinese government’s denials and pass a resolution on atrocity crimes against Uyghurs.

Organized by the Europe-based diaspora organization, European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) the virtual meeting was addressed by the President of the World Uyghur Congress Dolkun Isa, Executive Director of Uyghur Human Rights Project, Washington Omer Kanat, former Member of the Dutch Parliament Harry van Bommel and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at WZB Berlin Social Science Center Dr. Tommaso Virgili. The conference was moderated by senior researcher and writer Dr. Mojibur Doftori from Finland.

The meeting was organized in the backdrop of the relentless atrocities committed against the Uyghurs in China. It was a follow-up of the previous virtual conference of the organization on the topic, ‘Why the World should raise voice for Uyghurs and Demand China to stop persecution’ held on 19 November last year.

While addressing the conference President of the World Uyghur Congress Dolkun Isa said, today the Chinese Communist Party not only threatens the Uyghurs but also the Tibetan, Chinese democrats and Mongol people. The whole world witnessed what was going on in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong democracy is now over, he said adding, China is now using face- and voice recognition cameras to use against the Uyghurs. It is not only the Uyghurs who are being threatened, also the global democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and rule of law are threatened by the Chinese Communist Party. So, Dolkun Isa said, the whole world must take a lesson from the Uyghur experience.

Former member of the Dutch Parliament Harry van Bommel said, when we look at the definition of genocide in the UN-treaty of 1948, the treatment of Uyghurs by China must be labelled as genocide. The purpose of China definitely is to partially or totally eradicate a national, ethnic of racial group, he added. The former Dutch MP said, the Netherlands is host country to the International Court of Justice. It would suit my government to form a coalition of countries to try and build a case against China because of the genocide that is being committed. The Dutch minister of foreign affairs however is also prepared to discuss the Uyghur case with his European colleagues. This is a first step on a long road to international recognition of this genocide, van Bommel continued.

Director of Uyghur Human Rights Project, Washington Omer Kanat said, today millions of Uyghurs are in concentration camps and suffering unspeakable trauma. Survivors told us they are tortured, raped, forbidden from speaking their language, given unknown drugs, subjected to forced sterilization and near constant political indoctrination.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at WZB Berlin Social Science Center Dr. Tommaso Virgili said, I find it more disappointing, pathetic and shameful because some member states of Europe for example, Germany and France value their own political and economic interest above the human rights in East Turkistan.

The host of the meeting Dr Mojibur Doftori summarized key points raised by the speakers and suggested that alleged internment camps, forced labour, intense surveillance, religious restrictions and forced sterilization are blatant violation of the international human rights norms and laws. He said, ‘China is a great civilization, economic and military power. Being a great power bestows greater responsibilities. It’s time for Chinese government to reflect on its actions and change its course towards the Uyghur Muslims. It’s never too late.’ 

The virtual conference was live telecast by the London-based British Bangla News and is available in the YouTube and Facebook.

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