We’ve seen that no man, or country, lives alone in this world. And the view of the future is oft seen in the actions of those oppressors who exert their will and presence on others.
We continue our look at the invasion, oppression, and torture of a free people, an independent country, at the hands of a dictatorial, domineering China. Again our thanks to Prime Minister Salih Hudayar for his time in highlighting this blight on the lives of the East Turkistan Uyghurs.
RB ~ China’s history of human rights abuses is well documented and certainly relevant here. It’s known for its labor camps, prisons, and even violent concentration camps. Are the ones in your own country to detain and punish your own people, or are they for people brought from in from other areas of China? How many of these facilities exist in your nation?
SH ~ According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, since 2016, the Chinese government has built over 1,300 so-called “re-education” concentration camps across East Turkistan which hold over 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and other Turkic peoples. Several hundreds of new prisons were also built across East Turkistan holding several million people. China claims these facilities are for “re-education” but really its to collectively punish our people and prevent East Turkistan’s independence as defined in China’s 2019 Defense Strategy whitepaper. People in the camps and prisons are being tortured, raped, sterilized, and many prisoners’ organs are being harvested. There are also several dozens of massive labor camps run by the Bingtuan (Paramilitary Production Corp) which was set up in 1954 to colonize East Turkistan.
Organ Harvesting, Forced Abortions, Death Camps
RB ~ We’ve heard reports of China’s weapons testing, biological violations, religious incarcerations, organ harvesting, abortion misuse, and others. What other human rights abuses have there been in general or against the Uighurs themselves?
SH ~ Aside from nuclear testing, mass internment, organ harvesting, abortions, the Chinese government has been coercing Uyghur and other Turkic women to marry Chinese men in a bid to eradicate the future of our nation’s existence. Over 500,000 Uyghur and other Turkic children have been forcibly separated from their families and sent to state-run orphanages and boarding schools to be culturally and politically indoctrinated as loyal Chinese citizens. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of our youth have been forcibly transferred to Chinese provinces, especially more recently during the COVID 19 Pandemic, to be used as slave labor in factories producing shoes for Nike, Skechers, Adidas, and clothing for H&M, Gap, Zara, and many others, consumer electronics for Apple, LG, Huawei and so forth. While at the same time the Chinese government is settling thousands of Chinese settlers into East Turkistan on a daily basis.
RB ~ Are there any major issues that China feels threatened by and therefore feels the need to control your people, or is it strictly an invasion and occupational issue?
SH ~ As defined in China’s national defense strategy, it’s all about preventing East Turkistan’s independence. China is threatened that majority of the East Turkistan’s people will push for independence, thus it is strictly an issue of a genocide resulting from invasion, occupation, and colonization.
RB ~ We know that your area is rich in oil and other natural resources. Has China exercised their control to confiscate these resources? They’ve certainly demonstrated their force against your country for what they claim are “environmental abuses.”
SH ~ Absolutely, despite East Turkistan being a very rich country in terms of natural and mineral resources such as oil, natural gas, gold, silver, uranium, jade, iron, copper, tungsten, and coal, yet the people of East Turkistan live in extreme poverty. Whereas, all the rich and fertile areas of East Turkistan have been exclusively occupied by the Chinese colonists. The people of East Turkistan don’t receive any of the wealth that our own land produces, instead its robbed by China and the Chinese government uses that wealth that empowers China and its people.
RB ~ In the day to day living conditions for your people, what are those major issues that oppress them, that make life less enjoyable and productive than they would like and deserve?
SH ~ The fact that we lost our independence and the freedoms that come with is something that makes life less enjoyable and unproductive for us. It almost makes life meaningless for us. On a daily basis, the people of East Turkistan are constantly harassed, abused, and humiliated by the Chinese occupation forces and Chinese colonists. The Chinese government has declared our people as “enemies of the state and people” and treats us as if we are not even human. No one being able to travel outside of our neighborhood without hitting a checkpoint, not being able to worship at all, not being able to learn our history and language, being forcibly married off to Chinese men, having our children forcibly separated, and not knowing when the oppression will end and when and if we will be reunited with our family members are among the issues that oppress us constantly.
RB ~ Nearly 30 years ago (1991) the UNPO: The Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization was formed. Can you tell us about this group and their function in the world representing you? Are they making any progress toward better standing in the world?
SH ~ The UNPO was created in 1991 by various national movements as an international organization to facilitate the voices of peoples and nations not represented in the UN. Over the past 30 years it grew from 10 original member nations to over 30 today. However, for the past 30 years, the situation of East Turkistan has not improved at all, on the contrary it has deteriorated. Unfortunately, until nations in the Free World, like the United States, UK, France, Germany, and others pressure the UN Security Council to put the East Turkistan issue on its agenda, the UNPO won’t be able to do much other than serve as a “model UN” for unrepresented nations and peoples. East Turkistan originally joined the UNPO under the East Turkistan National Congress which split into two groups in 2004 pro-independence (ETGE) vs autonomy under China (WUC). The ETGE is not a member of the UNPO.
RB ~ What other countries, areas, or peoples are represented by the UNPO?
SH ~ The UNPO consists of over 30 countries/peoples including Aceh, Assyrians, Balochistan, Catalonia, Crimean Tatars, East Turkistan, Iranian Kurds, South Azerbaijan, South Mongolia, Tibet, West Paupa, and others. Former members who have gotten independence include Armenia, Bosnia, East Timor, Estonia, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, and Palau.
RB ~ There are many beautiful areas in your country with its flowing rivers and valleys, mountains, and colorful plains. Professor Takada Jun has revealed that the Chinese gov’t carried out 46 surface nuclear tests from 1964 to 1996. And you say that much of your country has been destroyed (specifically your largest lake Lop Nur region) by China’s presence including this nuclear testing. Are we to believe that their nuclear testing has caused 750,000 deaths? What have you or your people locally observed to support reporting these activities?
SH ~ In 1928 Lop Nor lake covered over 3,100 km2 (1,200 sq mi) but due to Chinese constructions of dams in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, along with nuclear testing in the area, the lake ultimately dried up. China conducted a total of 46 nuclear tests of which 18 were conducted underground The total yield of those conducted above ground was 16,420 kilotons with the largest single test being 4,000 kilotons. Dr. Takada Jun estimates that some 750,000 deaths have been caused by nuclear testing after comparing the nuclear tests with other tests and the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which totaled 34 kilotons and killed anywhere from 129,000 – 226,000 people… The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War founded that the estimates of radioactivity that was released across the entire region was roughly 48 kg of pulverized plutonium. Inhalation or ingestion of one-millionth of a gram can cause damage to the kidneys, as well as liver or lung cancer. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), states that the doses recorded in cities close to the test site in Lop Nor are high enough to cause malformations and cancers in babies which were confirmed in the 1998 British Documentary titled “Death on the Silk Road.” East Turkistan has the highest mortality rate of all the 28 provinces & regions under the control of Communist China.
Salih Hudayar is an Uyghur American activist born in East Turkistan and raised in Oklahoma. He is the Founder of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM). He was recently elected as the Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile (ETGE) in November 2019 and is currently pursuing a Masters in National Security Studies at the American Military University. You can follow him on Twitter @SalihHudayar.
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