Two years after US recognized Uyghur genocide, rights groups warn time is running out

by | Jan 19, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Two years since then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China’s repression of the Uyghurs a genocide, rights groups and political leaders continue to demand an end to China’s human rights abuses.  “Time is running out,” said Salih Hudayar, prime minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile and leader of the East Turkistan National Movement, at a news conference Thursday (Jan. 19). “If China’s genocidal policies and colonialism continue, Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples … will cease to exist as a people within 50 years.”
The ETGE is an exile government that sees itself as representing East Turkistan, a region China calls “Xinjiang,” meaning “New Territory.” It is the historic home of many Uyghurs, who are predominantly Sunni Muslim, and other ethnically Turkic people. Both the ETGE and East Turkistan National Movement advocate for the end of Chinese occupation in the region, which was most recently colonized by China in 1949.  
Mamtimin Ala, strategic adviser of the ETGE, said the world has an “inescapable, sacred and humanistic responsibility” to stop the genocide. Speakers at Thursday’s conference said the violence can only be halted via East Turkistan independence. They noted that while the overwhelming majority of Turkic people from the region practice …

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