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US Lawmakers Form Congressional Caucus to Put Spotlight on China's Abuse Against Uyghur Muslims

Many investigative reports using satellite imagery have also found that China is destroying Uygur mosques.

Many investigative reports using satellite imagery have also found that China is destroying Uygur mosques.

China is accused of using forced sterilisation techniques on Uyghur women and separating Uyghur children from their families.

Tom Suozzi and Chris Smith, two US lawmakers, announced the formation of the Congressional Uyghur Caucus on Thursday, claiming that it will raise awareness of the Chinese Community Party’s (CCP) “systematic human rights crimes against the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region."

According to ANI, Representative Suozzi said, “Put simply, we’re talking about the Chinese Communist Party’s most orchestrated human rights abuse campaign of the twenty-first century."

“We have a responsibility to uphold the ideals of fundamental human dignity and religious freedom abroad not only as Members of Congress, but as human beings," the legislator was quoted as saying by the news agency.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s continued genocide and mass imprisonment of Uyghurs and other primarily Muslim ethnic minorities like the Kazakhs are heinous crimes," Representative Chris Smith, added.

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China has been calling the mass detention camps where Uyghur and other ethnic minorities are transferred as “vocational education and training centers”. However, the US, the European Union and the United Nations have called these centres as detention camps, which has almost two million Uyghur Muslims, according to different research reports, and accuse China of committing genocide and forcefully assimilating Uyghurs by banning its religious practices and restricting its population growth.

China is also accused of using forced sterilisation techniques on Uyghur women and separating Uyghur children from their families. They are forced to learn Mandarin and are kept away from practicing religious practices. Many investigative reports using satellite imagery have also found that China is destroying Uygur mosques.

Also, as detailed in many reports, China has been using Uyghurs Muslims as forced labour. Yet, the Pakistani PM and other Muslim countries laud this model.

Recently, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had said he “accepted” China’s version regarding the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. Khan, a fierce critic of Islamophobia, said China’s version of bringing “improvement in the society” was much better than the model followed by the western democracies. He, in fact, hailed the Chinese Communist Party for it.

In 2019, nearly 37 nations, in a letter sent to the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, defended the China’s Xinjiang policy. The letter charged the Uyghur Muslims with spreading terror and extremism and justified China’s actions as counter-terrorism measures aimed at deracializing Uyghur Muslims.

Notably, 16 of the 37 countries have large Muslim population, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Kuwait, Somalia and Sudan. The countries are also the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing 1.9 billion Muslim people. That explains why even OIC is silent on the Uyghur genocide.

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first published:July 30, 2021, 08:57 IST