Why Uyghurs Keep Commemorating the Ghulja Massacre of 1997

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February 9, 2024 | Bitter Winter

Omer Kanat, Executive Director of the Uyghur Human Rights project described the Ghulja Massacre as a “clear and early indicator of the Chinese government’s dehumanization of the Uyghurs.” This has been “a gradual process that has culminated in a genocide,” he said quoting the findings of the UK Parliament in 2022, and the Independent Uyghur Tribunal in 2021.

He questioned the world’s silence since, and its lack of will and muscle now to address the ongoing human rights abuses in his homeland, despite a UN verdict in August 2022 by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, alleging crimes against humanity in the Uyghur region.

The world has consistently ignored warnings indicators of human rights violations against Uyghurs, he said. “The issue is pertinent to all of us. Our failure has made the world safer for genocidaires. What happened to the Uyghurs should become a lesson learned so that we can forestall genocides before it is too late.”

He called for more sanctions of Chinese officials implicated in the suffering of his people, legislation to focus “policy responses adequately to the enormity of the crimes”, and mandates to address the long arm of repression reaching exiled Uyghurs who are “harassed and coerced into silence about the ongoing atrocities.”

Watertight EU legislation to ban forced labour imports must be rolled out, he urged, saying, “Although it is too late to save the still-unknown number of victims of Chinese government policies, it’s not too late to act for the survivors.”

Read the full article: https://bitterwinter.org/why-uyghurs-keep-commemorating-the-ghulja-massacre-of-1997/