Belgian Uyghurs highlight persecution as world nations start to recognise China's acts as "Genocide"

Belgian Uyghurs took to the streets of Antwerp this weekend to highlight the plight of their people in China’s North-Western Xinjiang region.

The systemic persecution of the Uyghurs - increasingly being recognised as Genocide - is an issue the Chinese authorities would prefer people not to discuss.

The incarceration, forced-sterilisation, and killings of members of this Turkish speaking minority group is an “internal matter”, according to the Chinese Communist Party, and they would rather that outsiders did not “interfere”.

At the time of writing, as many as one million Uyghurs are believed to be detained in mass detention camps, known as “re-education” centres.

Screenshot 2021 03 07 At 08 40 02

Here they are forced to sing songs praising the Communist Party, and are subject to continuous tests to ascertain their “progress” on the path to Communist enlightenment. During their incarceration and indoctrination - in blatant violation of the country’s obligations under the UN Charter of Human Rights, which China signed up to, on October 5th 1998.

As recently as December 2020 the UN attacked China for its practice of jailing human rights lawyers.

Human rights defenders in China continue to be “charged, detained, disappeared and tortured”, said Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur.

A motion In February of this year, a resolution, co-sponsored by Green parliamentarians MP Samuel Cogolati and MP Wouter de Vriendt, called upon the Belgian government to recognise China’s crimes against the Uyghur people as a Genocide, which would make it the second European country to do so, the Netherlands having taken this action earlier in the year.

It is high time that the European Union and its Member States recognise China’s crimes against Uyghurs as a genocide. As such, the proposed Belgian resolution is very welcome, and I hope that the Belgian government will act upon its demands by formally recognising the Uyghur genocide and taking concrete action to put an end to it.

World Uyghur Congress President Dolkun Isa.

The United States was the first country to take such action, and a recently published legal opinion in London suggests that a similar move may follow.

Senior British politician Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the Conservative party, is leading calls for “Magnitsy-style” sanctions against Chinese officials and other entities who are complicit in human rights violations.

On March 8th, 11.00 (CET) EUToday will host an online conference 'China’s continuing human rights violations: is it time to impose “Magnitsky” sanctions?'

More information and details how to join here:

Link: Belgian Uyghurs on Facebook.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

In October 2021 POLITICO described Gary as "the busiest man in Brussels!"

He is a of member the Chartered Institute of Journalists, a professional association for journalists, the senior such body in the UK, and the oldest in the world having been founded in October 1884

Gary's most recent book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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