WASHINGTON (AP) – The US Holocaust Memorial Museum reports that it has collected evidence of increasing government repression of Uyghur Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang region.
In a new report released on Tuesday, the Museum Center for Genocide Prevention says there are now “reasonable grounds” to believe that previously alleged crimes against humanity against Uyghurs are on the rise amid a concerted campaign to cover up their seriousness.
“The Chinese government has done everything it can to ensure that information about crimes against the Uyghurs does not come to light,” said Tom Bernstein, chairman of the museum’s committee of conscience. “The Chinese government must stop its attacks on the Uyghur people and allow independent international observers to investigate and ensure that the crimes are stopped.”
China has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights violations and atrocities in the region.
The report, which cites witness testimony, publicly available information from dissidents, and reports provided by human rights groups, expands on the museum’s March 2020 findings that the Chinese Communist Party has persecuted, illegally imprisoned and otherwise severely deprived Uyghurs of their physical freedom.
New findings include allegations of forced sterilization, sexual assault, enslavement, torture and forced displacement. The US government has already determined that China’s actions against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and other minorities amount to genocide.
“The Chinese government’s attack on the Uyghur community, marked by imprisonment of between one and three million people, as well as abuses such as forced sterilization, torture, sexual abuse and forced labor, is alarming in scale and brutality,” said Naomi Kikoler. , Director of the Simon-Skjodt Museum Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “The damage done to Uyghurs, families and their communities has left deep physical and emotional scars. The trauma of these atrocities will harm generations of Uyghurs. ”
Kikoler said the 59-page report “To Make Us Slowly Disappear: The Chinese Government’s Attack on the Uyghurs” should serve as a wake-up call for the international community to increase pressure on Beijing to end the repression in Xinjiang.
China said the allegations of violation of rights were false. Just last month, China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, criticized a statement signed by 43 countries condemning reports of torture and repression against Uighurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, where foreign governments and researchers say they are being held in prisons. about 1 million people or more. camp.
Zhang denounced “baseless accusations” and unfounded “lies” and accused the United States and other signatories of poisoning the atmosphere of cooperation and “using human rights as a pretext for political maneuver to provoke confrontation.”
Echoing the long-standing position of the Chinese government, he vigorously defended Beijing’s efforts to develop Xinjiang, stating that the lives of its people are improving day by day and “your plot to obstruct China’s development is doomed to failure.”
In October, The Associated Press reported that China’s control of Xinjiang entered a new era in the four years since Beijing launched its brutal crackdown, which has left up to a million or more Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in detention camps and prisons. …
Chinese authorities have cut many of the most draconian and visible aspects of the region’s high-tech police state, including the barbed wire that once surrounded public buildings, the AP said after two visits to Xinjiang.