“Now is the time to ensure that the Uyghurs’ suffering does not become even worse, and to put into practice what all people of conscience mean when they say ‘Never Again.’”
On August 24, The Diplomat published UHRP Director Omer Kanat’s commentary The Repression of Uyghurs Is Now an All-Out War Against a People. Mr. Kanat argues compelling evidence of internment camps in East Turkestan (aka Xinjiang) must be met with action from the international community. He writes: “The rapid escalation of repression since 2016 has shocked the world, and tenacious international media coverage has put the issue on the agenda. What remains is for policymakers to act.”
The commentary cites a recent report from UHRP on the internment camps, which documents the camp system and the individuals impacted. UHRP’s report details three ways in which the international community can act:
The first is the use of United Nations (UN) processes. China’s Universal Periodic Review in November 2018 must be leveraged to ensure Chinese officials respond to credible reports of internment camps.
The second is to adopt a “Global Magnitsky Act.” Such acts must be used to sanction Chinese officials complicit in the human rights violations occurring in East Turkestan.
The third measure is to end forced returns of Uyghurs to China due to pressure from Beijing and to offer sanctuary to Uyghurs. There is no reason Uyghurs peaceably living overseas should be deported to China.
On August 22, UHRP Board Chairman Nury Turkel spoke to Shaun Ley on Hardtalk. Mr Turkel highlighted the prospect of worse to come for Uyghurs if action from the international community is not forthcoming stating:
“I am afraid of mass murder because we don’t know, other than a few individuals have managed to leave the camps. People are not leaving. Where have those million people gone? What are they being charged of?”
Mr. Turkel’s warning echoes the concern expressed in UHRP’s report on the camps that “[a] further escalation of tactics of repression…cannot be ruled out, raising the specter of human-rights violations of an even graver nature in the near term.”