Campaign for Uyghurs, chaired by Ms. Rushan Abbas, offers evidence of the criminal policies of the CCP, and calls for an international trial.
by Marco Respinti
How do you call the planned, intentional campaign to wipe out an entire portion of mankind, singled out for ethnic, religious, or cultural reasons? Since the time of Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), the Polish lawyer and legal expert who coined the term to indict crimes against the Jews perpetrated by Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s, the word you are looking for is “genocide.”
It is a word with moral, legal, and even philosophical weight. “Genocide” does not imply only the massacre of a large number of people, which is horrible enough and unfortunately happened many times in history. A massacre is called “genocide” if it implies the intent to erase a whole human community, a goal planned and implemented as systematically and scientifically as possible. As such, it is the product of ideology and thus typical of the modern era, in spite of the fact that we claim to live, since a couple of centuries, in the “era of democracy.”
French historian Reynald Secher is one of the finest experts of the first genocide in history, the systematic extermination of Catholics in Vendée between 1793–1794, at the time of the French Revolution. He elaborated on the notion of “genocide,” forging another neologism, “memorycide.” The latter occurs when even memories of the human groups subject to genocide are being destroyed, to cancel all of their traces and records from history.
Furtherly elaborating on such materials, recent scholars have moved forward to introduce the notion of “cultural genocide,” i.e. the drive toward the annihilation of a population and a culture before and beyond its physical extermination.
This is what is happening in Xinjiang, the region predominantly inhabited by Muslim Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities, which they prefer to call East Turkistan. Precisely for this reason, some lawyers think that the Chinese Communist regime can and should be brought as soon as possible before the International Criminal Court, despite the fact that China has not signed the relevant treaty.
The report illustrates what Bitter Winter has constantly chronicled in recent months. The CCP’s intention to destroy an entire population was not even stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Muslims in Xinjiang have been and are harassed in all possible ways. Intimidations, unlawful detentions, religious and cultural discrimination, and even humiliating practices such as compelling them to eat pork and drink alcohol (forbidden in Islam), and to transform their home decor from traditional Uyghur to cheap Westernized style. Those who try to protest are sent to the dreadful transformation through education camps.
In the report, a special emphasis is put on the fate of Uyghur women, a topic that Ms. Abbas holds dear and has also addressed in a recent article for Bitter Winter. One million Han Chinese CCP cadres have been sent to live with Uyghur families to control their daily life. This operation is nicknamed by the CCP the “Double Relative Program” (meaning that each Uyghur family has both real blood relatives and false CCP-imposed ones), and may mean that Uygur girls and women are obliged to share the same bed with CCP spies, with consequences not difficult to predict. The plague of imposed weddings between Han Chinese chosen by the CCP and Uygur women is also common, and generates additional pain. As Campaign for Uyghurs denounces, this often amounts to what is nothing less than rape.
Several reports on the persecution of Uyghurs have been published, but the peculiarity of Genocide in East Turkistan is its specific attention to the medium and long-range effects of the CCP policy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Its most important parts are in fact the introduction, on the legal concept of “genocide,” and the chapters where the CCP genocidal intention is clearly demonstrated. Examples include efforts to disrupt families, deportation and re-education of Uygur children whose parents and relatives have been sent to the camps, and forced sterilizations and abortions to prevent Uygur births.
“These crimes, the report concludes, must be brought forward by an International Commission, and their perpetrators must be prosecuted in the International Court of Justice.” Otherwise, as the late Uyghur leader Isa Yusuf Alptekin (1901–1995) once wrote, “my people face a great danger of destruction. If my people cannot escape the danger of destruction, they will perish.”