Your appeal has given us hope and others a lesson

Sun, 09/16/2018 - 07:04 -- Kanat


Dear Senator Marco Rubio and other members of the US House of Representatives,

We, members of the Uyghur diaspora communities across the globe, have greatly been inspired and hopeful by the letter you wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin raising concerns over what you called a “human rights crisis” in our homeland, East Turkestan (aka the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China).It should come as no surprise for us that more than 3 million Uyghurs have been interned in concentration camps because we know the nature and intensions of Chinese authorities. It is within our expectations that as a colonial regime, China would have taken such aggressive policies against Uyghurs. But what makes us surprised is the silence of the world after it has been more than a year and half since the establishment of the concentration camps. Your appeal has shown that we are not alone and humanitarianism has not lost its meaning in this world.

By responding toour plight in time of despair, you have been more active than our religious and ethnic brothers in identifying and assessing the risks we Uyghurs are facing and take action to overcome them. I believe that it has given us hope and others a lesson in other parts of the world.

Your action has proved, once again, that we still have politicians in the US House of Representatives and Senate who never give up on the leading role of the US in this volatile world. This has a tremendous meaning for all of us at a time when the Chinese government is planning to project its growing influence on the international stage through its “One Road, One Belt” initiative, to spread a culture of corruption, to strengthen the role of dictatorship and to encourage others to compromise on the principles of human rights. 

To me, how much influence the letter could carry in itself to the Trump administration and to the Chinese government is of secondary significance. What ismost importantis the invaluable strength and confidence the letter gives the people like us who are paying heavy price for fighting for justice and who are lingering in prisons all around the worldfor what they believe right.

Actually, your appeal should have made China take immediate actions to stop its inhuman treatment of Uyghur before it makes the Trump administration take actionto put pressure on China. For the Chinese regime should have been shocked to know that the members of the US congress have already been aware of what is happening to Uyghurs in the camps. Therefore, they should have slowed down, if not totally stopped, the speed of the aggressive suppression of the Uyghurs. However, what we are observing now is as worrisome as before: even after the appeal, the Chinese government has arrested four Uyghur journalists at Xinjiang Daily and accused four other Uyghur professors at Kashgar University of being “double-faced.” 

after the UN human right panel in August 2018, Chinese authorities have never shown any sign of reversing its suppressivepolicies. Even if your appeal is going to fall on deaf ears, it is important that it remains indicated of how arrogant the Chinese government has become and that when Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream comes true, the oppressions that Uyghurs are experiencing can be replicated in other parts of the world.

am deeply worried not only about the situation of the entire Uyghur people inside and outside of the concentration camps, but also about the safety of the world with a country like China which answers any dissent with aggression and violence. As such, I wish you all the best with your endeavours to close down the concentration camps in my homeland and to maintain the peace that the world alwaysneeds.



Leader of the Uyghur National Movement