For Immediate Release
Aug 19, 2023
A high-level delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) arrived in China on Aug 17, 2023, according to the Anadolu Agency. The delegation is led by Ambassador Dya-Eddine Bamakhrama, the permanent representative of Djibouti to the OIC, and includes permanent delegates and representatives from 25 Member States, including Saudi Arabia, which is the current chair of the OIC. A statement by the OIC said the delegation shared opinions with the Chinese side over “status of Muslim community in China,” and plans to visit East Turkistan.
CUS denounces this orchestrated visit carefully arranged by China that will serve only for China’s disinformation propaganda aimed at silencing the international community, especially the Muslim world, on the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity taking place in East Turkistan. While millions of Uyghur and other Turkic people of East Turkistan are locked up in concentration camps, those who are outside the camp live in the open prison under strict daily surveillance of the genocidal regime. The issue of forced labor remains a particularly critical concern as the majority of people who were previously interned in concentration camps are transferred to forced labor facilities and factories across Chinese provinces. Moreover, China’s war on Islam is ongoing in East Turkistan: Uyghurs are still targeted for their religious identity with a total ban on Islamic practices and traditions.
The OIC delegation will only be allowed to see what the Chinese government already well-planned fake scenes on the ground, and the locals the delegation will be meeting are those carefully handpicked by the Chinese officials. These locals will not be able to tell the delegation their true stories. The Chinese authorities have organized staged visits for officials, diplomats, scholars, and journalists from Muslim-majority countries in the past, which resulted in the whitewash of China’s genocide and war on Islam in East Turkistan. Most recently, a delegation from the Arab League that visited East Turkistan in early June 2023 have come out with the denial of “genocide and religious persecution of the Uyghur Muslims”.
Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris said, “Instead of overlooking or downplaying China’ genocide and violations of Uyghurs’ religious freedom, the Uyghurs expect the OIC to play a responsible role by denouncing China’s genocidal, Islamophobic policies and it’s war on religion. OIC should meet with Uyghurs in exile, those camp survivors – victims and survivors of the Chinese genocidal regime that can share their ongoing horrific real stories. After many Western governments have recognized the Uyghur Genocide, it is long over due for the OIC to finally wakeup and stand up to China’s violations of human dignity and criminalization of the Islamic faith and practices in East Turkistan.”
CUS stresses that the planned visit by the OIC must not be used as another opportunity to whitewash or ignore the Uyghur Genocide. The OIC must not become a tool of China’s disinformation campaign. In this critical moment, CUS calls on the OIC to uphold its obligation to “safeguard the rights, dignity, and religious and cultural identity of Muslim communities and minorities in non-Member States”.