Uighurs Protest China’s ‘Enforced Starvation Murder’

Uyghur community leaders held a rally this weekend outside the White House to demand action amid growing reports of famine in occupied East Turkestan, where the Chinese Communist Party has trapped residents in their homes since July on behalf of of the prevention of the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

China continues to impose “zero-covid” lockdowns on major cities – and in East Turkestan, entire regions – ostensibly as a way to reduce the spread of the disease. While similar house arrest measures were taken around the world at the start of the ongoing pandemic, China remains the only major country to continue to use containment measures against the virus. This prompted widespread global outrage and even condemnation from the World Health Organization (WHO), which had previously praised China for its response to the coronavirus.

Unlike more recent shutdowns in major cities populated by ethnic Han majorities – such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen – the majority of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in East Turkestan would face mass starvation as the Communist Party fails to provide food deliveries to homes where authorities are not letting people out. Videos began surfacing last week on heavily censored Chinese social media of people from the region desperately calling on the government to provide food, saying they and their children were starving with no end in sight and no response from the people. authorities.

Ahead of the shutdowns, China launched a genocidal campaign in the region to exterminate its indigenous Turkish population through mass internment in concentration camps, killing prisoners for organ harvesting and sterilizing entire villages, witnesses say. eyewitnesses and human rights investigators.

Protesters gathered outside the White House on Monday called on leftist President Joe Biden’s administration, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, global media and others to increase pressure on the Chinese Communist Party to to end what they called a “famine”. genocide.” The rally was organized by the East Turkestan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM), which advocates for an independent East Turkestan from the Chinese communist regime. China refers to East Turkestan using the Han name “Xinjiang”.

Posted by East Turkestan National Awakening Movement on Saturday, September 10, 2022

“There is no doubt that China is using the pretext of the Covid shutdowns to deliberately murder Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples through forced starvation,” said Salih Hudayar, the prime minister of the government of East Turkestan in exile, during the meeting. of the event.

“Many reports have emerged from East Turkestan that the Chinese government is locking Uyghurs and other Turkic people in their homes and starving them to death. Hundreds of gruesome videos and other social media posts from East Turkestan show families across East Turkestan suffering from starvation after being locked in their homes for weeks,” Hudayar explained. “The content of many of these videos show Uyghurs imploring the government, begging them to let them out and bring them food to feed their starving children.

Hudayar also noted that Uyghurs had documented “trucks of Uyghur naan bread thrown away and fruits and vegetables left to rot in warehouses.”

“We can see that this is a deliberate effort by the Chinese government as part of its ongoing genocidal campaign to murder Uyghurs and other Turks under the guise of enforced starvation Covid lockdowns,” concluded Hudayar.

Elfidar Iltebir, president of the Uyghur American Association, used her speech to urge the global media to devote more resources to covering the Chinese government’s genocide of the indigenous population of East Turkestan. She also urged the United States and other world governments to pressure China to allow Uyghurs abroad to send food and medicine to their starving relatives at home, assuming that she didn’t want to feed them.

“Our people are left alone to die. This is another face of genocide: deliberately, systematically, the government does not deliver food to our people, so our people really need help, they are desperate — that’s why they risk their lives and share these videos with us,” Iltebir said. said.

“Let’s send money, let’s send food, let’s help them,” she said.

In moving remarks to the crowd, Tursunay Ziawudun, who personally experienced imprisonment in a Chinese concentration camp, called on the world, and the Uyghur community in particular, to raise their voices unceasingly to help save their families. Ziawudun is one of 3 million people in the region whom China has imprisoned in concentration camps and, after escaping to the United States, has repeatedly testified to having endured extreme torture, including sexual assaults, in a concentration camp in East Turkestan, and strongly advocated for the world to stop financially, if not morally, supporting Beijing.

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

“Our people are starving and the world is just watching…what are you guys doing, why aren’t you taking action, why are you just watching us starve?” Ziawudun said Saturday in Uyghur, as translated by Iltebir.

“We must continue our demonstrations without stopping. Imagine our people risking their lives at home – they are braver than us, they are the real heroes. They’re risking their lives and sharing these videos and letting us know what’s going on,” she said, breaking down in tears and telling the crowd, “We shouldn’t even smile, we should feel guilty for taking advantage. of life here. A child participating in the rally then comforted Ziawudun after his speech.

Reports that China is using lockdowns to starve Uyghurs in East Turkestan surfaced as early as February 2020, but have since resurfaced amid a new lockdown this summer. As many as 12 people have died of starvation or lack of access to life-saving medicine since China imposed a coronavirus lockdown on East Turkestan in July, according to US news outlet Radio Free Asia (RFA). RFA reported that much of the worst of the lockdown happened in the town of Ghulja, famous for an anti-communist protest of thousands and the ensuing communist massacre 25 years ago, citing sources local.

RFA reporting corroborated videos on social media, which the Chinese government is quickly trying to remove from its sites, of residents complaining about a complete lack of access to food and saying the Chinese government has neither provided food. nor allowed residents to leave their homes and obtain them. Some videos show locals showing clear signs of starvation and expressing fear of dying soon.

In addition to trying to censor videos, the Communist Party has also tried to drown out searches for information about “Xinjiang” with attractive tourist advertisements and photos of the region, especially on international platforms it does not control. .

The Guardianciting a “leaked directive” published in the China Digital Times, reported on Monday that Communist Party officials were following an order to “open a comment flooding campaign” to make it harder to find authentic videos of the Xinjiang famine. .

“Content can include domestic life, everyday parenting, cooking, or personal moods. All Internet comment staff should post once an hour (two in total), but not in rapid succession! Repeat: not in rapid succession! the directive would have read.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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