The Uyghurs are a Muslim ethnicity. Their origins go back to the Turkic peoples, and they are ethnically and culturally closer to the peoples of Central Asia.
The number 11 million people and make up about 45% of the population of Xinjiang, while the proportion of Han Chinese is about 40%.
The region in the northwest of the country is the largest region in China and is self-governing like Tibet, and it neighbors India, Afghanistan, and Mongolia.
In the early 20th century, the Uyghurs declared their independence for a short period, but the territory fell under the control of communist China in 1949. Since then, a large number of the ethnic Han have moved to the region.
Since the Communist Party took over the rule of the Republic of China, the government has deliberately changed the ethnic composition of the country.
This has affected the various races and groups residing in Chinese geography. The government has resorted to removing the distinctive character of each ethnicity, considering that everyone should be enjoying the partisan character of the state.
The Chinese government pursued a program that led to the emptying of the region from the Uyghurs and the settlement of a population of the ruling Han majority, for a declared ideological goal and a hidden goal; The richness of the region and its enormous area, as it is the largest region in China and the richest in its natural resources.
Thus forces of the ruling party moved to the region, and in the recent period, the frequency of violations of the rights of the Uyghurs escalated, as the Chinese government has placed more than a million Uyghur citizens in closed camps, stripping them of all their rights, and dealing with them as production tools that do not have rights.
These actions came to the open when about 200 people died in violent incidents that took place in the provincial capital of Urumqi in July 2009.
It was followed by government measures to implement a set of laws since the beginning of April 2017, under which state employees in public places, including passenger terminals and airports, are required to prevent women who completely cover their bodies and their faces from entering these facilities and reporting them to the police. In addition to preventing the legal marriage of Uyghurs and their enrollment in private schools, banning them from all government jobs, destroying their religious books (the Qur’an), demolishing mosques, banning growing beards, and punishing those who refuse to watch official television.
The Uyghurs are subjected to a systematic violation that has amounted to killing and torture of thousands of them, while the Chinese government has prevented the media and international press from covering these events, in addition to its rejection of the demands of human rights organizations to reach the region and find the truth of what is happening.
The international community
The international community takes a neutral stance, while the US uses them as a means of pressure China in the trade conflict between them, as it sometimes imposing some sanctions while turning a blind eye when the situation between the two countries get better.
With the arrival of the Joe Biden government to power in the United States, a law was presented to the US House of Representatives and approved by the US Senate on July 14, 2021, and this legislation prohibits the import of any products from the Chinese province of Xinjiang, in what seems to be Washington’s latest efforts to punish Beijing for what it says is a continuous genocide against the Uyghurs and other Muslim groups.
The Forced Labor Prohibition of Uyghurs Act would create a “presumption” that goods produced in Xinjiang are forced-production, and thus prohibited under the Tariff Act of 1930 unless authorized otherwise by US authorities.
Earlier on March 23, 2021, the European Union imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, due to human rights violations against the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, for the first time in 30 years.
However, these sanctions did not stop China from its continued suppression of the Uyghur minority. Rather, Beijing declares that this minority is causing riots and Beijing is controlling security and maintaining public order, and the failure to take serious measures by the international community against China will allow it to eradicate this minority and the loss of their rights.