Chen Quanguo is the Communist Party Secretary of East Turkestan (known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in present-day China). He was promoted to this post in August 2016, after subduing another heavily oppressed region — Tibet. Since then, he has initiated a series of unprecedented repressive measures against the Uyghur people, and ideological purges against so-called “two-faced” Uyghur officials as well as Uyghurs who earned high-respect and/or have strong influence in their own professional fields or careers (The “two-faced” is a term applied by the regime to describe the Uyghurs who do not willingly follow directives and exhibit signs of “disloyalty.”). His government is now treating all the Uyghurs as criminals, and all the Uyghurs with religious faith as terrorists.
More than 10,000 armed Chinese police and soldiers attending a swearing-in ceremony against “terrorism” in Kashgar on February 17, 2017. Reuters
We have learned that Chen Quanguo’s regime issued “arrest schedules”, “look-up tables” and printed verdicts to local government officials and airport administrators, and assigned quotas to all the districts in East Turkestan about how many people to arrest within a given period of time. Some details of such illegal and inhuman practices were presented in our previous petition (http://chn.ge/2Eh6k2c). Using such administrative processes outside the China’s legal system, Chen’s regime has arrested tens of thousands of Uyghurs, mostly men at the ages of 18 – 50, in the last two years. As a result, massive numbers of women have become “widows”, and similarly massive numbers of children have become “orphans”. Consequently, the Uyghur societies everywhere lost their male residents, and Uyghur farms lost their male laborers. Anyone who visits East Turkestan nowadays can see “streets without Uyghur men” everywhere. Adding to the above misery, the Chen’s regime has assigned Han-Chinese “relatives” to most Uyghur families in every cities and towns all around East Turkestan. The families include those whose remaining family members are only the mothers and the children. We have obtained information about some cases in which Han male “relatives” sexually abused Uyghur mothers and/or their daughters in front of the mothers; when the female Uyghur victims complained to local government officials about this, they too were arrested under the charges of “causing disturbances”.
Chen’s regime not only jailed a huge number of innocent Uyghurs (in some estimates this number is between 50,000 to 100,000), they also put far more people into Nazi-style concentration camps. The total number now exceeds one million, constituting more than 10% of the total Uyghur population (according to China’s 2010 census) in East Turkestan. Even more horribly, the Chen’s regime is treating those one million Uyghur men and women in very inhuman ways both in prisons and in concentration camps. In prisons, those innocent “prisoners” are tortured in a way that people living in any civilized society cannot imagine. For example, the torture includes water cells, burning female victims’ faces and bodies with cigarettes and telling them “Call your God to rescue you”, hanging by the wrists, beating with police batons, electric batons or other objects, kicking, exposure to sustained cold, blinding with a hot, bright light, forcing a prisoner to maintain a stress position for prolonged periods, prolonged deprivation of sleep, water and food, restraining for days in so-called “tiger chairs” (used to immobilize suspects during interrogations), handcuffs, and leg irons. In most cases, such abuses have resulted in deaths, or physical and/or mental disabilities.
Here are two recent reports related to this petition:
(1)China Xinjiang police state: Fear and resentment
(2) New party boss wields heavy hand of Chinese rule over Uyghurs
For example, we have learned the following from an Uyghur victim who just recently got released from a prison, and told his close friends what he had gone through in the jail, even if he knew the danger that he might be executed for disclosing such tightly safeguarded information: He did not know the rules when he first arrived in the jail, and got beaten by the guards with batons for whatever he did. He had to say “I am a terrorist” every time when the guard beat him, otherwise he got even more hits. When he asked for a permit to go to the toilet, he had to say “I am a terrorist and I would like to use the toilet”. The guards beat him if he did not ask in that way. His right hand was tied to his left ankle with a metal object all the time: during the day, during the eating, when using the toilet, and during the sleep, such that his right hand stayed touching his left ankle all the time. It was impossible for him to stand straight even once during the day. After living this way for more than a year, his body was completely deformed or physically disabled, thus becoming a person who can only crawl but cannot stand straight and walk. At the moment, it is very rare in East Turkistan for an Uyghur prisoner to come out of a jail as a normal person like before he or she went into a jail. We have heard many cases in which the Uyghurs who came out of jails died shortly thereafter because some of their internal organs were missing.
Omurbek Ali was born and grew up in East Turkestan, and became a citizen of Kazakhstan 12 years ago. He was arrested on 26 March 2017 when he went to Pichan County in East Turkestan to visit his parents after conducting an official business in Urumchi. He was held in several concentration camps and prisons, and was finally released on 4 November 2017. He was interviewed three times on Jan. 23 – 25 of 2018 by the Uyghur-language service of Radio Free Asia (RFA) (https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/kazakh-01302018161655.html). The following is his partial accounts as told to RFA:
- “I was travelling back and forth between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang since I became a Kazakh citizen 12 years ago. I had never become a member of any organization, never carried out any political activity, and never assisted anybody who might belong to some sort of organizations. I worked in a travel agency from 2016 to 2017. I went to Urumchi to attend a 2-day business meeting in March 2017. After the meeting I went to Pichan County on 25 March 2017 to visit my parents. My plan was to go back to Kazakhstan on March 27. At around 10am the next day, five policemen wearing uniforms came to my parents’ home and arrested me with a charge that “you are suspicious”. They did not have any legal documents on their hands, such as an arrest warrant. After taking me to a village police station, they charged me with more “crimes”, including “intimidating, organizing and protecting terrorists”. I was interrogated for about 2 hours in that police station. Then I was handcuffed, my head and face were covered with a black sack, and was taken to a county police station in Pichan city. There, the police took my fingerprints and blood samples, and carried out thorough physical exams on my body, without taking off the handcuffs and the black sack on my head. I was terrified, and thought that they might start taking my internal organs soon. Later on the same day, I was taken to a prison. There were around 15 young Uyghur men in my cell, all with metal chains on their hands and feet. Before going to the prison cell, I had all of my clothing taken away and replaced by a set of prison uniform. After staying 8 days in that prison cell, I was taken to Karamay (one of the largest cities in northern East Turkestan), still handcuffed and chained. I was deprived from sleep for two days before the police started their interrogation on me. Since that day up until mid June, I did everything, including eating, sleeping, and using the toilet, in a prison cell with my right foot tied to a bed with a heavy metal chain. The chain was less than a meter long, so I did not have any room to move around.”
- “During my 8 months in jail, I lost 40kg of weight, and caught several illnesses, including high blood pressure. I thought I would die in the prison.”
- “I was taken from the prison to a political re-education center on 4 November 2017, and was given political education for 20 days before being let go to Kazakhstan.”
Recently, Abdurahman Hasan, an Uyghur businessman from Kashgar who is currently living in Turkey, appealed to the Chinese government by saying “China: Execute my mother and my wife instead! I will pay for the bullets”, after learning about the inhuman tortures to which his mother and his wife are being subjected in two different concentration camps in East Turkestan (http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/). He was interviewed by the Uyghur language service of RFA in this regard.
As we described above, Chen Quanguo and his regime have put at least 10% of the Uyghur population of East Turkestan in jails and concentration camps. At the same time, the regime is torturing those Uyghurs in such inhuman ways that they end up either dying in jails or concentration camps, dying shortly after being released, or becoming permanently disabled, physically and/or mentally. We, the Torchlight Uyghur Group, believe what Chen Quanguo and his regime are doing to the Uyghur people are considered as crimes against humanity. We appeal to the United Nations, foreign governments and other international human rights and humanitarian organizations to demand Chen Quanguo to immediately stop committing such crimes against the Uyghur people in East Turkestan.
We, the Uyghurs, are powerless and helpless at the moment. As such, we are unable to defend ourselves against the Chinese government’s atrocities and cannot fight this battle for our survival alone. We need the support of the global community. If tens of thousands of people from around the world sign our petition, it may be possible that the United Nations will make a commitment and will act to stop the tragedy that the Uyghur people are facing today.
Please join us in our fight to end the appalling atrocities happening in East Turkestan. Please sign and share this petition. Thank you!
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