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Situation of Uighurs and Other Ethnic Turkic Muslims


Istanbul press conference Uighurs. (File)

The United States will continue to shine a light on the PRC’s genocide and crimes against humanity, against Uighurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang.

On the Situation of Uyghurs and Other Ethnic Turkic Muslims in China
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In 2017, reports emerged of severe restrictions on the freedoms of religion or belief, movement, association and expression in Xinjiang, China, according to the United Nations. These reports were later corroborated by numerous open-source reports, including testimony from victims and their families. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights conducted its own investigation and issued a report in late August, which concluded that “The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of the Uighur and predominantly Muslim groups... may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity” and notes that “serious human rights violations have been committed” in Xinjiang through the use of “severe and undue restrictions.” Other predominantly Muslim groups in Xinjiang include Hui, and ethnic Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Mongol, and Tajik peoples.

On October 26, a side event at the United Nations discussed the current human rights situation of these minority groups in Xinjiang.

“The long-awaited United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights report on Xinjiang laid out the [People’s Republic of China’s] human rights violations in horrifying detail,” said U.S. Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield.


“Forced confessions and stringent sentences for baseless charges; discriminatory detainment based on ethnic, religious, cultural identity and expression; cruel, inhumane, degrading punishment.”


“These and other findings leave no room for doubt,” said Ambassador Thomas Greenfield. “The PRC has committed gross violations of human rights. Their actions are, without question, crimes against humanity. The question before us is how will we respond?


“The United States will continue to shine a light on the PRC’s genocide and crimes against humanity, against Uighurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang. We will continue to push the PRC to fully implement the UN High Commissioner’s recommendations. And we will continue to stand with Uighurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, and hold perpetrators accountable."

On October 31, 50 countries signed a joint statement at the UN General Assembly expressing grave concern about the human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China, especially the ongoing human violations of Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang and urged the PRC to promptly release those arbitrarily detained and clarify the fate and whereabouts of those missing.


No country is immune from scrutiny of its abuses against its own citizens.

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