The Uyghur Genocide

The Uyghur Genocide An examination of Chinas Breaches of the 1948 Genocide Act

This is report written by the Newsline Institute for Strategy and Peace with an opening statement by its Director, Dr Azeem Ibrahim.  The subject in question is whether the Chinese State has committed genocide against the Uyghurs.

This is the first independent review into the actions, ongoing situation, and treatment of an ethnic minority within the Chinese State. The report used the application of the 1948 Genocide Convention to determine if the Chinese State had broken international law, and together with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights have produced a full and frank report listing the atrocities being committed by the Chinese State on its people due to their ethnicity.

The full aim of this report was to ascertain whether there is a collective guilt by the Peoples Republic of China and that their breaches fit within the 1948 Genocide Convention under International Law.

To produce this report the Newline Institute interviewed dozens of experts on International Law and genocide studies as well looking into the policies concerning Chinese ethnics minorities, as well as examining all available information and verified by the Chinese State, eyewitnesses and leaked documents from the Chinese State and public information available on the Chinese Internet and any other available sources.

The aim of the report was to decide whether the People Republic of China had broken International Law and will include where the State is responsible for these breaches.

1948 Genocide Act.

In 1948, the United Nations approved its Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG), which defined genocide as any of a number of acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

Who are the Uyghurs?

The Uyghurs are a Muslim ethnic group who have lived in northwest China for centuries. Uyghurs predominantly live in Xinjiang, the largest province in China by area and one of the most remote and least populous regions in the country.   In recent years, the Chinese government has cracked down on Uyghur culture and religion, punishing Uyghurs for speaking their native language, maintaining their culture, or practicing their religion, including fasting during Ramadan or abstaining from pork and alcohol.

In culture and religion, the Uyghurs are similar to other Central Asian ethnic groups such as the Uzbeks and Kazakhs. They speak a language that is closely related to Uzbek and shares similarities with Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Turkish. Islam is an important part of Uyghur identity, and most Uyghurs are Sunni Muslims.

The Uyghurs have been systematically abused by the Chinese State for years and this has steadily gotten worse. Approximately 10 million Uyghurs live in Xinjiang while several hundred thousand more Uyghurs live in neighbouring countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.   Xinjiang is rich in natural resources, and its economy has historically revolved around agriculture and trade. Its towns were once main stopping points along the famous Silk Road.

The modern territory of Xinjiang, meaning “New Frontier” in Chinese, came under Chinese rule after the Qing Dynasty asserted control over the region in a military campaign in the 18th century. In the 1930s and 1940s, the region saw the declaration of two short-lived republics claiming independence, but China regained control of it after the Communist Party took power in 1949. (1)

Persecution by the Chinese State

It is well documented that the Chinese State have created concentration camps for holding the Uyghur people and these can be seen on satellite pictures.

Satellite Image showing Concentration Camps.

There are some 260 camps scattered throughout China and some are built for the sole purpose of persecuting the Uyghur minority.

The Genocide of the Uyghurs include:

The intention to destroy the Uyghurs.

Government-Mandated Homestays where women are systematically raped or forced to marry Han Government spies.

Mass Internment.

Mass Birth Prevention Strategy.

Forcible Transfer of Uyghur Children to State -run Facilities.

Eradication of Uyghur Identity, community, and domestic life.

Selective targeting of Intellectuals and Community Leaders.

Intention to destroy the Uyghurs including mass rape or the forcible marrying of Han Government spies through government mandated homestays. 

The aim of the Chinese President and the members of its parliament is to eradicate the Uyghur population either through death or breeding out the population by forcing upon the people the Han community.  This has resulted in the mass rapes of Uyghur women.  Women from the Muslim minority are forced to share a bed with and even marry men from the Han majority who are appointed by the Communist state, it is claimed.

The much-criticised Pair Up and Become Family program joins a long list of alleged human rights violations carried out by Xi Jinping’s regime against Muslims in the northwest region of Xinjiang.    They have also been accused of raping Muslims held in “re-education camps,” forcing them to have abortions and imprisoning Muslim men en-masse.

One victim said of the rape culture: “Any woman or man under age 35 was raped and sexually abused.”  Another woman who spent 18 months in a Chinese “re-education” camp added: “They’d come in and put bags on the heads of the ones they wanted.”

The targeting of Uighurs is part of China’s religious crackdown, with critics from all over the world lambasting the Chinese state and accusing them of “ethnic cleansing” and “cultural genocide”.  Last month leaked papers revealed how the state was engaged in a brutal crackdown on the Uighurs – including forcing women to share a bed with male “monitors” who spied on them while their husbands were locked up without trial.   A Chinese official confirmed the program existed, telling Radio Free Asia the women were paired up with male “relatives” in order to “promote ethnic unity”. (2)

 Mass Internment

Since April 2017, over 1 million Uyghurs have been rounded up by Chinese police and detained against their will in large internment camps (called ‘re-education’ camps by the Chinese government) where they have been subjected to arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, political indoctrination, torture, and other serious human rights violations.

Mass Internment of Uyghur individuals. Credit the BBC

In April and May of 2017, Uyghurs living outside China started losing contact with family members still living in the Uyghur Autonomous Region as thousands of Uyghurs began to be rounded up and sent to the camps. This continued in 2017 as more Uyghurs lost all contact with family members and in 2018 nearly every family in the Uyghur diaspora has a missing relative or loved one.

The political indoctrination camps are in some ways another incarnation of the infamous Chinese work camps (Laogai) but are operated in a more targeted manner with a distinct political purpose. These camps only operate in the East Turkistan and are part of Chen Guanguo’s policies to ‘stabilize’ the region. The camps essentially function as open-air prisons, where detainees are forced to undergo political indoctrination classes aimed at eroding their unique religious, cultural, and ethnic identities.

Throughout 2017, the sheer scale and severity what was happening in the camps became apparent. It was reported that in five camps around Kashgar alone, 120,000 Uyghurs were being held. By March 2018, an estimated 880,000-one million Uyghurs are currently being held in these camps. These number continue to rise, as it was reported in March 2018 that the number of Uyghurs detained in the city of Ghulja has increased substantially. Current estimates (as of May 2019) estimate the total number of detainees to be between 1 – 2 million people. Scholar Dr. Adrian Zenz estimated that 1.5 million people were detained in the camps and the U.S. state department stated between 800,000 – 2 million have been detained. Local authorities in the city have now been given a quota for detentions and authorities have been pressured to detain more people to meet the quota.

Sophie Richardson, China Director at Human Rights Watch, stated that Uyghurs are being held at these centres, “not because they have committed any crimes, but because they deem them politically unreliable.” No formal charges are laid against detainees, who are also not provided access to legal remedies, are denied contact outside the camps, and are held for unspecified periods of time. The camps therefore constitute a massive case of state-orchestrated enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention.  (3)

Mass Birth Prevention Strategy.

Break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins as stated by the Chinese Leader Xi Jinping in 2014 when he declared a war on the Uyghur Ethnic Minorities by wrongly identifying them as home grown terrorists to justify the actions that were being taken, and he ordered them to be destroyed by root and branch and wipe them out.  

The Chinese Government are on a mission to eradicate the Uyghur population by either forcibly sterilising the women who are of childbearing age or making them miscarry so that no new members of the population can be added too.  This state funded action is nothing more than an all-out decision by the Chinese State and its leaders to forcibly eradicate the Uyghur Community and by biological means if necessary. 

Uyghur Women have been systemically abused by either forced sterilisation or abortion.

According to the analysis of the data, natural population growth in Xinjiang has declined dramatically in recent years, with growth rates falling by 84% in the two largest Uighur prefectures between 2015 and 2018 and declining further in 2019.

“This kind of drop is unprecedented, there’s a ruthlessness to it,” “This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs.”   Former detainees in internment camps in Xinjiang said they were given injections that stopped their periods or caused unusual bleeding consistent with the effects of birth control drugs.  “Overall, it is likely that Xinjiang authorities are engaging in the mass sterilization of women with three or more children,” the report said.  (4).  

This is straight out of the Nazi book Chapter 1 as they had the same idea to sterilise Jewish people and those they deemed undesirable.

A Uyghur doctor stated for much of her career she worked for the Chinese government as part of what she describes as its population control plan to curtail the growth of the Uyghur population. She speaks of participating in at least 500 to 600 operations on Uighur women including forced contraception, forced abortion, forced sterilisation, and forced removal of wombs.  She told me that on at least one occasion a baby was still moving when it was discarded into the rubbish. (5)

Forcible Transfer of Uyghur Children to State -run Facilities.

Children of the Uyghur minorities are being separated forcibly by their parents and are instructed by force to learn about the Chinese State and the Han ethnicity, therefore ensuring that the children will not be able to learn their own religion, their ethnic tongue, and their ethnic way of life.  This is akin to the Nazis when they forcibly stole children from the territories they invaded and taking those who they deemed suitable for passing as Nazi children.

Eradication of Uyghur Identity, community, and domestic life.

The Chinese Government has embarked on a systematic and intentional campaign to rewrite the cultural heritage of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

It is seeking to erode and redefine the culture of the Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking communities—stripping away any Islamic, transnational, or autonomous elements—in order to render those indigenous cultural traditions subservient to the ‘Chinese nation’. Using satellite imagery, we estimate that approximately 16,000 mosques in Xinjiang (65% of the total) have been destroyed or damaged as a result of government policies, mostly since 2017. An estimated 8,500 have been demolished outright, and, for the most part, the land on which those razed mosques once sat remains vacant.

A further 30% of important Islamic sacred sites (shrines, cemeteries, and pilgrimage routes, including many protected under Chinese law) have been demolished across Xinjiang, mostly since 2017, and an additional 28% have been damaged or altered in some way. Alongside other coercive efforts to re-engineer Uyghur social and cultural life by transforming or eliminating Uyghurs’ language, music, homes and even diets,1 the Chinese Government’s policies are actively erasing and altering key elements of their tangible cultural heritage. Many international organisations and foreign governments have turned a blind eye. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) have remained silent in the face of mounting evidence of cultural destruction in Xinjiang.

The ongoing destruction of the Muslim Minorities in China.        Note: Red dots represent the estimated number of destroyed mosques, orange represents the estimated number of damaged mosques. The number written shows these two combined. For full details see Table…….A. Source: ASPI ICPC

Muslim-majority countries, in particular, have failed to challenge the Chinese Government over its efforts to domesticate, sinicise and separate Uyghur culture from the wider Islamic world.  (5)

Selective targeting of Intellectuals and Community Leaders.

This is another one straight out of the Nazi Handbook as during WW2 the Nazis on invading lands such as Poland decided that the only way to eradicate any opposition was to kill those who are the intellects of society and enslaving the others and working them to death, and this is what the Chinese State is doing with the Uyghurs.  They are either ending up in the concentration camps or are murdered by the Chinese State in an attempt to eradicate the Muslim Minorities.

The Newsline Institute have themselves listed the following for proof that the Chinese State is committing acts of Genocide against a minority within its own boundaries.

  1. This report concludes that the People’s Republic of China (China) bears State responsibility for committing genocide against the Uyghurs in breach of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) based on an extensive review of the available evidence and application of international law to the evidence of the facts on the ground.

2. The examination was conducted by recognized independent experts on international law, genocide, China’s ethnic policies, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

3. Intent to Destroy. Under Article II of the Genocide Convention, the commission of genocide requires the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, [a protected group], as such.” The “intent to destroy” does not require explicit statements. Intent can be inferred from a collection of objective facts that are attributable to the State, including official statements, a general plan, State policy and law, a pattern of conduct, and repeated destructive acts, which have a logical sequence and result — destruction of the group as such, in whole or in substantial part.

 4. High-level statements of intent and general plan. In 2014, China’s Head of State, President Xi Jinping, launched the “People’s War on Terror” in XUAR, making the areas where Uyghurs constitute nearly 90 percent of the population the front line. High-level officials followed up with orders to “round up everyone who should be rounded up,” “wipe them out completely … destroy them root and branch,” and “break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins.” Officials described Uyghurs with dehumanizing terms and repeatedly likened the mass internment of Uyghurs to “eradicating tumours.”

5. Comprehensive State policy, pattern of conduct and repeated destructive acts.

a. Government-Mandated Homestays. Since 2014, the Government of China (Government) has deployed Han cadres to reside in Uyghur homes as monitors, resulting in the rupturing of family bonds. County governments further coerce, incentivize, and actively promote Han-Uyghur marriages.

b. Mass Internment. In 2017, the XUAR legislature formally legalized the mass internment of Uyghurs under “De-Extremification” regulations. The top security official and entities dispatched a manual and set of documents across the region with orders to police Uyghurs, “speed up the construction” and expansion of the mass internment camps, “increase the discipline and punishment” within the camps and maintain “strict secrecy” over all information, which is not to “be disseminated,” nor “open to the public.” The manual outlines the complex hierarchy4 of officials, entities, and the centralized digital surveillance system overseeing the entire campaign.

c. Mass Birth-Prevention Strategy. China has simultaneously pursued a dual systematic strategy of forcibly sterilizing Uyghur women of childbearing age and interning Uyghur men of child-bearing years, preventing the regenerative capacity of the group, and evincing an intent to biologically destroy the group as such. According to Government statistics and directives, including to “carry out family planning sterilization,” “lower fertility levels,” and” leave no blind spots,” China is carrying out a well-documented, State-funded birth-prevention campaign targeting women of childbearing age in Uyghur-concentrated areas with mass forced sterilization, abortions, and IUD placements. China explicitly admits the purpose of these campaigns is to ensure that Uyghur women are “no longer baby-making machines.”

 d. Forcible Transfer of Uyghur Children to State-run Facilities. Pursuant to new Government policy in 2017, China began building a vast network of massive State[1]run, highly securitized boarding schools, and orphanages to confine Uyghur children, including infants, full time. XUAR counties receive specific quotas from higher authorities to institutionalize such “orphans,” who often lose both parents to internment and forced labour.

e. Eradication of Uyghur identity, community, and domestic life. Pursuant to Government campaigns, local authorities have eliminated Uyghur education, destroyed Uyghur architecture and household features, and damaged, altered, or completely demolished the vast majority of mosques and sacred sites in the region, while closing off other sites or converting them into commercial spaces.

 f. Selective Targeting of Intellectuals and Community Leaders. The intent to destroy the Uyghurs as a group is further demonstrated by the Government’s deliberate targeting of the guardians and transmitters of Uyghur identity for prolonged detention or death, including household heads, intellectuals, and cultural leaders, regardless of Party affiliation or educational status. The deliberate targeting of Uyghur leaders and sacred sites evinces an intent to destroy the essential elements of Uyghur identity and communal bonds, which define the group as such.

6. China’s policies and practices targeting Uyghurs in the region must be viewed in their totality, which amounts to an intent to destroy the Uyghurs as a group, in whole or in substantial part, as such.

7. Acts of Genocide. While commission of any one of the Genocide Convention’s enumerated acts with the requisite intent can sustain a finding of genocide, the 5-evidence presented in this report supports a finding of genocide against the Uyghurs in breach of each and every act prohibited in Article II (a) through (e).

8. “      (a) Killing members of the group.” There are reports of mass death and deaths of prominent Uyghur leaders selectively sentenced to death by execution or, for elders in particular, by long-term imprisonment. “

9. (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.” Uyghurs are suffering serious bodily and mental harm from systematic torture and cruel treatment, including rape, sexual abuse, exploitation, and public humiliation, at the hands of camp officials and Han cadres assigned to Uyghur homes under Government-mandated programs. Internment camps contain designated “interrogation rooms,” where Uyghur detainees are subjected to consistent and brutal torture methods, including beatings with metal prods, electric shocks, and whips.

        (c) The mass internment and related Government programs are designed to indoctrinate and “wash clean” brains, driving Uyghurs to commit or attempt suicide from the threat of internment or the daily extreme forms of physical and psychological torture within the camps, including mock executions, public “self-criticisms,” and solitary confinement.

10. “(a) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” The authorities systematically target Uyghurs of childbearing years, household heads, and community leaders for detention in unliveable conditions, impose birth-prevention measures on Uyghur women, separate Uyghur children from their parents, and transfer Uyghurs on a mass scale into forced hard labour schemes in a manner that parallels the mass internment. In sum, China is deliberately inflicting collective conditions calculated to terminate the survival of the Uyghurs as a group.

11. “(b) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.” The systematic birth prevention campaign in Uyghur-concentrated areas is reinforced by the mass internment drive. In the camps, Uyghur women are subjected to forced IUD insertions, abortions, and injections or medication halting their menstrual cycles, while Uyghur men of childbearing age are targeted for internment, depriving the Uyghur population of the ability to reproduce. As a result of these interconnected policies, growth rates in Uyghur-concentrated areas are increasingly approaching zero.

 12. “(c) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” Where detentions and forced labour, schemes are leaving Uyghur children bereft of both parents, they are being sent to State-run orphanages and raised in Chinese-language environments with standard Han child-rearing methods.

13. China’s Responsibility for Genocide under the Genocide Convention. China is a highly centralized State in full control of its territory and population, including XUAR, and is a State party to the Genocide Convention. The persons and entities perpetrating the above-indicated acts of genocide are all State agents or organs — acting under the effective control of the State — manifesting an intent to destroy the Uyghurs as a group 6 within the meaning of Article II of the Genocide Convention. This report therefore concludes that China bears State responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs, in breach of the Genocide Convention. (7)

China has repeatedly broken the 1948 Genocide Act because of their treatment of the Uyghur people and the Governments of the World must deal with them as this is a shame on the ineptitude of the Governments to do anything.  The Nazis were allowed to get away with the treatment of those deemed unsuitable and following the trials of Nuremburg it was stated that never again would this be allowed to happen, yet the world is sitting idly by and doing nothing.

The Uyghurs are being systemically murdered, raped, having forced abortions committed on them, the killing of babies and the “education” of the young in brain washing schooling and yet the Chinese State sits on the Human Rights Council.  This is ludicrous and they need to be removed as how can they cast judgement on others whilst breaking every rule in the book.

The Chinese State will not stop until it has eradicated all the ethnic minorities, they deem unsuitable and if they are allowed to get away with it, they will almost certainly try to eradicate the next country they invade for example when they turn their sights towards Taiwan.

Nearly 80 years ago the Allies fought an evil that was spreading its tentacles across Europe and where the innocent of innocent were being systematically murdered with the sole intention of removing their religion and their way of living from living memory, and this is not only disgraceful for the murdering but by trying to murder an ideal and a religion goes against everything that decent people respect.

The Chinese State has no respect for the independent thought, living and religion of anyone they deem unfit, and shame on those large Western Countries who use these victims of the concentration camp for their own greed and to maximise the profits.  Those that use forced labour should be made to stand trial for profiteering from the misery of others, and the United Nations is showing what it is….it is not a lion that roars but rather a damp squib as they are refusing to do anything that will prevent the Chinese State from committing these acts of Genocide.

The only thing we can do as a people is to refuse to buy Chinese Goods and to hit them where it hurts in their pocket, as it seems that no Government is prepared to put its head above the parapet and accuse the Chinese of what it is actually doing, and whilst people are buying more and more Chinese goods then all you are doing is filling their war chest to enable them to eradicate more independently thinking groups who worship in their own rights, and who want to live differently from the state authoritarian ordered rules.

Muslim states must come together and accuse the Chinese People as it is Muslims who are suffering here, and when you murder people for their religion then you have overstepped the line, and to eradicate their way of life is exactly what it says on the label….it is breaking the Genocide Act of 1948, and it is about time the Chinese State and Xi Jinping and all the others in the “Peoples Parliament” are hauled before the Hague to answer for their crimes.

In reality and sadly the Governments of this world will do next to nothing, and no doubt the UN will send a strongly worded letter whilst continuing to let this country sit on the Human Rights Board.  The least they could do is kick them off as they are also clamping down on Hong Kong and it will not end there as the Chinese Military are now talking of a war in the next 10 years with the United States of America and if we sit and do nothing, then more and more countries will fall under their grip and we will see the same scenes from the terror of the Nazis  being committed yet again only this time in the 21st Century by China.

When that happens, it will be too late to act as the innocent will already have been murdered and it shows that the UN is not fit for purpose and that only by Governments working together, can we do something that took far too long with those murdered in the 1930s and 40s and that is to prevent it getting worse now.

Reference

  1. https //share.america.gov/who-are-Uyghurs/
  2. China accused of ‘mass rape’ program forcing Uighur women to marry men chosen by the state to ‘promote ethnic unity’ – The Sun
  3. https://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/political-indoctrination-camps
  4. China forcing birth control on Uighurs to suppress population, report says – BBC News
  5. s://www.itv.com/news/2020-09-02/uighur-doctor-tells-itv-news-of-disturbing-testimonies-of-forced-abortions-and-removal-of-wombs
  6. https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ad-aspi/2020-09/Cultural%20erasure_0.pdf?NlJYOaEV6DF3IfupGsdb73xt
  7. //newlinesinstitute.org/uyghurs/the-uyghur-genocide-an-examination-of-chinas-breaches-of-the-1948-genocide-convention/

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