The United States is gravely concerned about the Chinese government’s massive incarceration of Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang province.
Scott Busby, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia that the United States is raising the alarm with Muslim majority countries and other nations around the world about the “horrible” human rights abuse occurring in China.
“Over a million people are in these camps. They are held there against their will. Some of them are subject to torture; some of them are subject to cruel and inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. We know that some people have died in the camps, so clearly what’s happening in the camps is horrific.”
Unfortunately, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary Busby, targeting religious believers is not a new phenomenon in China:
“The Chinese Communist party has shown extreme hostility toward all religion since it took power, and that continues to be of great concern to us.”
Mr. Busby noted that with the notable exception of Turkey, too many countries have remained silent in the face of the suffering of China’s Muslim minorities:
“We think this is a reflection of the power that China unfortunately exerts over other countries by virtue of the assistance China is providing, or by virtue of business relationships that China has. So I think a lot of countries are afraid of speaking the truth of what’s going on in Xinjiang.”
The United States has raised the issue of the detentions with Chinese government authorities both publicly and privately, Deputy Assistant Secretary Busby said, and will continue to do so. While some people have been released from the camps, the U.S. is also considering a variety of options to bring about an end to the abuses taking place in Xinjiang. “The United States government and the American people,” he said, “will continue to stand by the Uighur people and other Muslim minorities.”