U.S. Holocaust Museum Says China ‘May Be Committing Genocide’ Against Uyghurs


The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum mentioned in a report issued on Tuesday that China had escalated its crimes in opposition to the Muslim group of Uyghurs within the northwestern area of Xinjiang and that it was “gravely concerned” that the federal government “may be committing genocide.”

The report, “‘To Make Us Slowly Disappear’: The Chinese Government’s Assault on the Uyghurs,” builds on a March 2020 announcement made by the museum that there was “reasonable basis” to consider that the Chinese authorities “had perpetrated the crimes against humanity of persecution and of imprisonment” in opposition to the Uyghurs.

Based on compiled proof, the report issued Tuesday discovered there was now “reasonable basis” to consider that the crimes embrace “forced sterilization, sexual violence, enslavement, torture, and forcible transfer.”

In an announcement, Tom Bernstein, chair of the museum’s committee on conscience, referred to as on the Chinese authorities to cease the crimes in opposition to the Uyghurs and permit unbiased worldwide displays to analyze.

“The Chinese government has done its best to keep information about crimes against the Uyghurs from seeing the light of day,” he mentioned. “The information that has come out so far, including documentation from courageous Uyghur activists, has been damning.”

In an announcement, Naomi Kikoler, director of the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, mentioned that the “Chinese government’s assault on the Uyghur community” described within the report was “alarming in scale and severity.”

“The damage inflicted upon Uyghur individuals, families, and their community has left deep physical and emotional scars,” she mentioned. “The trauma from these atrocities will harm generations of Uyghurs.”

The report calls on the Chinese authorities to “immediately halt the commission of mass atrocity crimes,” and lists particular subsequent steps corresponding to ending pressured sterilization and compelled abortion. But the Chinese authorities, which has through the years denied such crimes, is unlikely to be fazed by the report or observe by way of with any calls for fabricated from it.

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Washington didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark in regards to the report on Tuesday. But the Chinese authorities had spoken in opposition to such claims as just lately as Oct. 21, when greater than 40 international locations, together with the United States, criticized China’s repression of the Uyghurs at a United Nations assembly. China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, responded by saying that the international locations had made “groundless accusations against China.”

“No matter how many times repeated, lies are still lies,” the ambassador mentioned. “You are using human rights as a pretext for political maneuvering to provoke confrontation. In fact, you are the troublemaker and biggest obstacle to international human rights cooperation.”

The museum in its report concedes that “it would be naïve to expect the Chinese government to change course so dramatically without a concerted international effort.”

“Having publicly declared that China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity, the United States and like-minded governments must be at the center of the effort to press China to end its atrocities against the Uyghurs,” the report mentioned.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, shared the museum’s report on Twitter on Tuesday, saying that it renewed “our call for the People’s Republic of China to end its crimes against Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.”

The Uyghurs have lengthy expressed resentment for China’s management of the Xinjiang area, saying they’ve been discriminated in opposition to, whereas a million or extra folks in internment camps have been detained for a variety of acts, together with non secular apply and violating start restrictions.

In one instance cited within the report, an Uyghur girl recalled being crushed and raped whereas she was detained in Xinjiang in March 2018. The girl detailed being raped by males who used iron bars and electrical batons, and later being raped by three males collectively.

“I remember it very clearly,” the report quotes her as saying. “I can’t cry and I can’t die … my soul and heart are dead.”

The United States has beforehand spoken out in opposition to China’s remedy of the Uyghurs. In the ultimate full day of the Trump administration, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned that China was finishing up genocide in a “systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs.”

Under the Biden administration, in an annual report on human rights practices launched in March, the United States condemned the Chinese authorities for what Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken mentioned was “genocide against Uyghurs” and crimes of “imprisonment, torture, enforced sterilization, and persecution.”

In its announcement in March 2020, the museum accused the Chinese of conducting pressured assimilation of the Uyghurs. While that didn’t fall underneath the definition of genocide underneath the Genocide Convention, the museum mentioned on the time, “Regardless of its legal classification, assimilation threatens the continued existence of Uyghurs’ cultural and religious practices.”