The Uyghur report is an opportunity for China, and we call on China to stop its crimes
China has again denied the conclusion and recommendations made in the Uyghur Report published by the UN on August 31. This report is not necessarily a blow for China; rather, it is a great opportunity for China to recognize the extent of its crimes and prevent further damage.
The victims of these crimes against humanity are not only objects of the crime, but also the subjects of them and witnesses to them. Today, the world accuses China of committing crimes against humanity. Tomorrow it will punish China for these crimes.
So far, China is trying to defend the Uyghur genocide by relying on its strength and silence. It bestows “visits” on developing and underdeveloped countries and showers them with propaganda. According to China’s foreign ministry website, China organized a visit for more than 1,000 representatives from more than 50 countries to “Xinjiang” in 2018, but no single Western country or independent research agency was allowed to investigate. It makes Western countries shut their mouths through trade-related mechanisms. However, China overestimates its role as a superpower and underestimates the moral standards of humanity.
China should learn that modern science and technology, which have increased China’s national power, are also giving something to humanity—wealth, and a sense of honor and justice. The publication of this report, despite the unprecedented campaign to block it, is the fruit of humanity’s sense of justice.
The report itself is one lesson. The inability to block it is another.
China has written that Ms. Bachelet, former UN high commissioner for human rights and author of the report, is a passionate admirer of China’s human rights record. However, even as a friend, supporter, and admirer of China, she was not able to stand by it on the issue of the Uyghur genocide. This is an extraordinary event—like the alienation of a child from its parents. China should learn from this just how deeply its crime has affected the hearts of others, and realize how terrifying, disgusting, and repulsive it is.
We know that the Chinese authorities, by detaining Uyghurs in camps and prisons for another five years, want half of them to rot in prison and to turn the rest into living corpses deprived of hope and courage. By keeping Uyghur families apart for more than a decade, China is trying to deprive more than five million children of their current national identity.
There are near-daily reports on social media about sick people and dead bodies coming out of the camps. This news still flows out, despite China’s strict press restrictions and threats regarding protecting state secrets. Leaving aside the conditions and hardships, the torture, and the forced labor in the camps and prisons, the three million people are doomed to get sick and eventually die simply because they have been deprived of family and a normal life. Therefore, as a former prisoner, I can assume that six years of mass incarceration has already cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs.
The fact that the true number of those detained has not been revealed does not mean that the crime has been washed away. This number will rise steadily until all prisoners in camps and prisons are released. The rise in numbers will further increase China’s accountability, and it will find it more difficult to backtrack from its criminal activities.
We believe that the Chinese Communist Party cannot represent the Chinese nation. I estimate and hope that the consciences of the majority of the millions of Chinese immigrants living in East Turkistan are tormented by the tragedies in front of them, that the Han cadres and policemen are feeling uncomfortable for being complicit in the genocide, that even the Chinese teenagers who see tragedy etched on the faces of their Uyghur classmates are worried that the bill for this crime will ultimately be sent to them. Crimes against humanity and genocide bring no benefit or peace to anyone.
China should learn from its failure to block the publication of reports that propaganda is generally effective only in China; it will not always work in the international community. Therefore, a country that commits crimes against humanity and commits genocide cannot be a world leader. Humanity is not foolish and ignorant enough to allow this.
The release of the Uyghur report is, despite China’s tremendous resistance, an early signal that crimes against humanity will not go unpunished.
Therefore, I call on the Chinese authorities to give up their crude fantasy of protecting national security and creating national unity by eradicating the Uyghurs from earth, and to stop using the Indian tragedy in the US of 200 years ago as a compass and shield for the Uyghur genocide.
Rabiye Qadir, Leader of Uyghur National Movement