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The Plight of the Uyghurs: 2014-2024

July 2, 2024

Since 2014, the Chinese Communist Party has launched policies aimed at eliminating Uyghur culture, religion, and ethnic identity in East Turkistan. In 2017, the Chinese authorities launched the “Strike Hard” campaign, interning millions of Uyghur and other Turkic peoples under various pretexts in concentration camps where they were forced to renounce their faith and cultural identities and accept political indoctrination. Reports from international media and testimonies of survivors have documented widespread manipulation, torture, sexual abuse, and other forms of exploitation designed to destroy detainees physically and mentally. Chinese authorities have also implemented birth control measures and forced sterilization on Uyghur women to curb the growth of the Uyghur population. Many Uyghur youths have been transferred to Chinese provinces to work as slave labor in factories.

Moreover, the CCP has targeted eliminating Islam from the lives of the Uyghurs. The Chinese authorities criminalized all Islamic practices and used them as pretexts to detain Uyghurs. Most recently, a Human Rights Watch report in January 2024 stated that “the Chinese government’s revised regulations in the Xinjiang region tighten controls over the religious practices of Uyghur Muslims and are the latest attempt to suppress Uyghur culture and ideology.” From the scale of China’s repression of Islam, it can be concluded that China is waging a war on Islam in East Turkistan.

As reports of mass internment emerged from East Turkistan in 2017, Uyghurs, researchers, journalists, and international human rights organizations have worked tirelessly to bring attention to China’s atrocities against the Uyghurs and hold China accountable on the international stage. Over the past several years, the fight to stop China’s large-scale persecution of the Uyghurs has led to meaningful results and raised significant awareness around the world. So far, more than 10 Western countries have recognized China’s atrocities against the Uyghurs as “genocide” and or “crimes against humanity.”

This year, 2024, marks ten years since the Chinese government launched an official genocidal policy against the Uyghurs as early as 2014. During this decade, the Uyghurs have been subjected to the worst human rights violations since World War II, including but not limited to the internment of millions, forcible separation of families, forced sterilization, forced marriages, forced labor, restrictions on Uyghur language and culture, criminalization of religious practices, and the destruction of traditional Uyghur homes, mosques, and cemeteries, etc. This booklet offers readers a concise overview of the various facets of the Uyghur Genocide over the past ten years.

Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris said, “The past decade has witnessed an alarming escalation in the persecution of the Uyghur people, marked by mass internment and political indoctrination of millions of Uyghurs, forced sterilization of Uyghur women, destruction of Uyghur families, systemic suppression of their culture, and waging a war on Islam. Our organization is committed to shedding light on China’s genocide and war on Islam in East Turkistan, and advocating for the human rights and religious freedom of the Uyghur people. We hope this booklet serves as a crucial resource in raising awareness and garnering support to stop this ongoing genocide.”

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