The Chinese government has held more than a million Muslims in concentration camps. They use different ways to torture them, similar to what happened during the Holocaust. They have been doing this for a long time behind closed doors, so no one else can interfere. Some people do not think that this is a genocide but China’s repression of Uighurs is terrible. Muslims are being tortured through concentrated camps, a second holocaust, which is being hidden from the world. A global response is needed to end this genocide.
When Did This Start?
Millions of Uighur Muslims and other Muslim groups have been detained since April 2017, according to government officials. Outside of the camps, “the eleven million Uighurs living in Xinjiang have continued to suffer from a decades-long crackdown by Chinese authorities, states the Council on Foreign Relations. This means that the Uighurs have been dealing with this torture for more than a decade, but nothing has been done.
What is Happening?
People in the camps have not been charged with any crimes and there is no proof of them doing anything wrong, but the Chinese authorities are still not letting them go. World CNN has shared that the camps’ main purpose is cruel and inhumane treatment, which includes physical and sexual torture and death. Leaked documents show that people were sent to the camps, women for wearing a veil and men for having long beards. CNN also shares that it’s a “strategic campaign by Beijing to strip Uyghurs of their cultural and religious identity and suppress behavior considered to be unpatriotic.” In addition, Uighurs are not allowed to have anything related to their religion, such as their Holy Book. They are not allowed to practice their religion and those who are doing so must repeat Chinese songs and rules. Also, the police randomly ask people on the streets for their ID cards and would scan their phones without any explanation. Uighur women are raped, forced to marry Han Chinese, forced to do what the men tell them, and eventually killed. The kids are tortured and separated from their parents. They are not allowed to go to school and forced to work in the camps. When they cry out for their parents, they are laughed at.
A Second Holocaust!
At first, the Chinese authorities denied the existence of the detention camps. When their videos were leaked, the Chinese government told other countries that the camps were just vocational training centers which do not interfere with the Uighurs’ human rights. This is why many people thought this wasn’t a genocide. The Council on Foreign Relations described this: “The detainees seem to have been targeted for a variety of reasons, according to media reports, including traveling to or contacting people from any of the twenty-six countries China considers sensitive, such as Turkey and Afghanistan; attending services at mosques; having more than three children; and sending texts containing Quranic verses. Often, their only crime is being Muslim, human rights groups say, adding that many Uighurs have been labeled as extremists simply for practicing their religion.” The United Nations Office describes genocide and ethnic cleansing as a ‘crime against humanity’ which means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population…murder, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity…..” All of these acts are being committed against the Uighurs, which shows that it’s a genocide. It also relates to how Jews were treated during the Holocaust, when Germany conducted an ethnic cleansing campaign. Later, this event was determined as a genocide. Now the same thing is happening with the Uighur Muslims.
Are There Any Actions Taken?
UN officials and many other foreign officials are ordering China to stop this. The Chinese authorities have refused to share any information about the camps and they have stopped foreign investigators and journalists from writing about them. About two dozen countries have confronted China with the repression of 13 million Uighurs and other Muslims. They have demanded the government take action on the freedom of religion.
The World Needs to Know!
Detailed information is still limited on the detention camps because the Chinese authorities are still hiding a lot of proof. The Chinese government is doing all this to protect itself from terrorist threats but they have imprisoned many innocent people for of this reason. Other governments need to maintain their voice repeatedly. At the various UN venues, they need to talk about what actions need to be taken. Governments need to communicate with each other and take a serious stand on this until something is done. They need to all go to China and demand entry to the camps so they can see what is going on. The governments also need to spread more awareness in the media and news so people can see what is happening with proof. There needs to be more petitions on this issue so more people can learn about it and participate in taking action. In addition, journalists should be encouraged to write more about this genocide. The Chinese authorities and everyone involved need to be locked up and punished for their doings! During the pandemic, the world’s attention may be on the coronavirus, but we also need to bring attention back to this horrific matter!
Because the Chinese authorities would always hide the proof and would not let foreigners come to the detention camps, many people do not know about this. China justifies their actions by saying that they are protecting the country from terrorist attacks. They are targeting and punishing 13 million innocent people who are not “terrorists” in any way or form! If we compare what happened during the Holocaust and what is happening now with the Uighurs, the Chinese are using the same methods of torture. The Holocaust was said to be a genocide because of the way Jewish people were being killed and tortured and the world said, “This should never happen again.” Now the same thing is happening with the Uighurs and it is a genocide!