Torchlight Uyghur Group
(Last updated on February 17, 2018)
- 1. Contacts between the uyghurs in east turkestan and abroad have been cutoff
- 2. One Million Uyghur Detainees Held Illegally in Nazi-Style Concentration Camps
- 3. Large Number of Uyghur Prisoners of Influence
- 4. Chen Quanguo’s Crimes against Humanity in East Turkestan
- 5. Collection of DNAs of All Uyghu
- References and urls for additional information
The Uyghurs are the indigenous people of East Turkestan located in the Central Asia. East Turkestan has been under occupation by the communist Chinese since 1949. It borders China and Mongolia to the east, Russia to the north, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the west and southwest, and Tibet to the south. The landmass of East Turkestan is bigger than the whole of Western Europe. Its colonial name is “Xinjiang”, which means “the new territory” or “the new frontier.” China officially designated the East Turkestan an Uyghur autonomous region in 1955, but in reality it has never become a true autonomous region. After the 2010 Chinese census, the Chinese government put the number of the Uyghur population in East Turkestan to be 10,000,370, but some Uyghur sources put the real population of Uyghurs around 20 million. The systematic assimilation of the Uyghurs as part of the Chinese government’s national strategy has been going on for a long time, but it had intensified since July 2009, after the July 5th massacre that took place in Urumchi, the capital of East Turkestan, and has become an ethnic genocide policy since Chen Quanguo took office as the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in East Turkestan. In this report, we describe some of the facts about such ethnic genocide practices currently being faced by the Uyghur people in East Turkestan.
Map of East Turkestan
1. Contacts between the uyghurs in east turkestan and abroad have been cutoff
At the moment, several types of contacts, including money sending-receiving, between the Uyghurs in East Turkestan and in China, and those abroad are completely cut-off. Also, most Uyghurs abroad cannot call and/or send text messages to parents and siblings back home due to the fear that their loved ones be put either in jails or Nazi-style “political re-education concentration camps”, because of the fact that the parents and/or close relatives of many Uyghurs living abroad are being held either in jails or in “re-education camps” in East Turkestan, for no reason other than their relatives being abroad. We have recently learned from some sources back home that the number of the Uyghurs currently being held in jails and in “re-education camps” is more than 800,000. This is an official estimate and actual number could be much higher than this. We have also learned that the Uyghurs who travelled to one of the 26 Muslim countries in Chinese government’s list and returned to China, regardless of their age and gender, are being sentenced to 10 years of jail time right at the airport and being taken directly to a jail from the airport. We have credible information about several cases involving actual victims as mentioned above. Chinese exiled billionaire Guo Wengui exposed Chinese regime’s abuse of the Uyghurs and said: “To speak honestly, people always say Chinese citizens are treated like pigs and dogs, but the people of Xinjiang and Tibet don’t even have the opportunity to be treated like pigs and dogs. I feel great pity for them.”
The current situation is severely damaging the mental health and wellbeing of the Uyghur people abroad. Some students studying abroad have reached to a level of mental breakdown, without being able to pay their tuitions and living costs, and without being able to know if their parents and/or siblings are still alive – most Uyghurs abroad have not been able to communicate even once with their parents and/or siblings in East Turkestan for more than 8 months. The Uyghur people outside China started the year of 2018 with deep frustration, worries, fear and depression, because they have no way of knowing the current status of, or getting news about their parents and siblings: If they are still alive or dead, and if they are in prison or in concentration camps.
As part of the Uyghurs studying and living abroad, we ask the Chinese government to stop its inhuman policies forced upon the Uyghurs in East Turkestan, China, and abroad. We demand the Chinese government to:
- Close the “political re-education camps”; they are in violation of the China’s relevant laws and the relevant international laws and regulations;
- Stop the policy that prohibits the Uyghurs in East Turkestan to travel a foreign country and the Uyghurs abroad to travel to East Turkestan;
- Guarantee that the Uyghurs abroad can receive money from, send money to and communicate with their parents and/or siblings in East Turkestan;
- Stop the surveillance of the Uyghurs who have relatives abroad, and allow them to communicate with relatives overseas;
- Stop the surveillance and the remote control of the Uyghurs living abroad;
- Stop examining the home computers and mobile phones of all the Uyghurs living in East Turkestan;
- Stop the arbitrary search of Uyghur homes, and mandatory assignment of Han-Chinese “relatives” to every Uyghur family.
2. One Million Uyghur Detainees Held Illegally in Nazi-Style Concentration Camps
Many media organizations around the world have recently reported that a large portion of the Uyghur population is being detained either in jails or in so-called “re-education camps”, while their children are being kept in countless orphanages in the East Turkestan. Recently, we have learned from official sources inside East Turkestan that the number of the Uyghurs currently being held in these Nazi-style political “re-education” concentration camps is more than 800,000. That is a number known officially inside East Turkestan, but all the unofficial numbers we obtained from various sources exceed one million. According to the 2010 Chinese census, the Uyghur population in East Turkestan was 10,000,370 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang). This means that about 10% of the current Uyghur population has been locked up. The conditions of the concentration camps are horrific because of the fact that such a large number of Uyghurs are locked up in relatively small and crowded spaces. We were told by several people who fled China recently that people even cannot lie down during the night with their backs on the floor; instead, they have to sleep sideways with all the adjacent bodies touching one another. We have also learned from some Uyghurs who recently lost their close relatives in the concentration camps that a significant number of Uyghurs are losing their lives in those camps every day. The families of the victims are just receiving their dead bodies from those overcrowded concentration camps. The local authorities are not giving back the bodies of the younger Uyghurs died, instead, just burying them in the nearby empty fields. These are just a few of the many examples of the horrible conditions in these concentration camps.
How did those more than one million people end up in jails, concentration camps and orphanages? It is extremely difficult to obtain such information in China, but we have managed to get information on some individual cases from the relatives of those victims’ living outside China (see the report titled “Political persecution of the Uyghurs – Brief description of some individual cases” at http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/).
The Uyghurs are one of the ancient peoples living in the heart of Asia. They have a long and proud history, and a rich culture. Throughout the history, the Uyghurs have been a great contributor to the world peace and prosperity. Due in part to their geographical location along the famous Silk Road, they have been a major force in the cultural exchange between the East and the West. We strongly believe that the Uyghurs are an indispensable part of the wider international community and will continue providing such contribution to the world’s ethnic and cultural diversities in the future. Similarly, the Uyghurs will contribute to the world’s peace and prosperity, just as they have done in the past. Therefore, the Uyghurs have every right to live in peace with dignity, and to continuously prosper, as any other nations on the surface of our mother Earth.
However, in the recent decades, the Chinese government has banned the Uyghur language from its use at all levels of education in East Turkestan, outlawed Uyghur literature (by banning and burning historical and literature books written in the Uyghur language), restricted, criminalized and attempted to eliminate Uyghurs’ religious belief and practice, and has systematically flooded East Turkestan with Han Chinese migrants in the name of “developing the West”, and thereby marginalized the Uyghurs in their own homeland. And now the Chinese government is openly killing the Uyghur people, too, in those Nazi-style Chinese concentration camps by implementing a state-sponsored ethnic genocide policy.
If we don’t get help immediately from the United Nations and from the international community to stop the Chinese government from what they are doing towards the Uyghurs in East Turkestan, the Uyghurs will keep dying and disappearing in large numbers in those Chinese concentration camps, and will soon face an unprecedented threat to their very existence. Therefore, we appeal to all the international communities and human rights organizations not to ignore the Chinese government’s crimes against humanity – the crimes currently being committed against the innocent Uyghur people. We appeal to the United Nations and other international human rights organizations to ask the Chinese government to release those 1 million Uyghurs, or at least send investigation teams to East Turkestan and find out:
- Where are those jails, concentration camps and orphanages?
- Why and where those one million Uyghurs are being detained?
- What are they eating and where and how are they sleeping?
- What are they doing during the day?
- What are their current health conditions?
- What are the current death rates among the detainees?
- What is happening to the children/siblings/parents of the people held in jails and concentration camps?
3. Large Number of Uyghur Prisoners of Influence
We have stated above that more than 1 million Uyghurs, or more than 10% of the Uyghur population living in East Turkestan (refer to the 2010 Chinese census) are currently being held illegally in jails, Nazi-style political “re-education” concentration camps and orphanages. The arrest of the Uyghurs in large numbers has been going on for a long time, but it intensified since July 2009, after the July 5th massacre that took place in Urumchi, the capital of East Turkestan, and has reached to a record level since Chen Quanguo took office as the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in East Turkestan. The Uyghur detainees came from all spans of life, as exemplified in our recent report titled “Political Persecution of the Uyghurs — Brief Description of Some Individual Cases” (http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/). Among them, there is a special category of people, namely, prominent Uyghurs or Uyghurs of influence. They represent a group of people in various areas of life and profession, who have prominent influence among the Uyghurs, or play leading roles in the Uyghur society or in their own fields of profession, such as intellectuals, writers, lecturers, poets, website owners and administrators, business owners, entrepreneurs, leading community activists, actors-actresses, religious figures, sports professionals, and even some rich people. Therefore, they can be collectively called “the Uyghur prisoners of influence”. They are very similar to the “prisoners of conscience” that are common to Han Chinese and the other ethnic groups in China, including the Uyghurs. But the Uyghur prisoners of influence were jailed or detained in concentration camps for a different reason, that is, for being famous and/or influential among their own community or in their own professional fields. If we imagine the whole Uyghur population as a person, these prisoners of influence can be considered as his/her head, and the Chinese government is now slowly cutting the head off.
Recently, several media outlets have reported on the arrests of several prominent Uyghurs and leading Uyghur intellectuals. They include Halmurat Ghopur (a leading intellectual), Abdurehim Heyit (a famous singer and musician), Yasinjan Moydin (a businessman and restaurant owner; got ill in a jail, and recently died in a hospital), Ahmatjan Heyder (a religious figure; got released from a jail after getting seriously ill, but died shortly thereafter), Muhammed Salih (a religious leader and scholar; he did the modern translation of the Holy Quran from Arabic to Uyghur language; he was taken into a concentration camp recently, and died on Jan. 24 at 82. His two daughters and a son-in-law also got arrested), Hebibullah Tohti (returned from Egypt after getting a doctor’s degree, and sentenced to a 10-years prison term shortly thereafter), four wealthiest Uyghurs in Kashgar, and some Uyghurs who studied abroad. The charges mentioned included “having nationalist tendencies”, “acts against the state”, “having extremist or politically incorrect views”, “being two-faced” and “undertaking unapproved, private hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)”. Some of such reports can be found at http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/. Previously, the jailing of the Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti received wide coverage in the international media. However, the most cases in such nature still remain unnoticed and unreported, even though such action of the Chinese government is having devastating impact on the Uyghur society and on the lives of all the Uyghur people in East Turkestan and abroad.
We have obtained information on many more cases of the arrested and the detained influential and/or prominent Uyghurs from people who fled China recently, but we restrained ourselves from presenting such cases in this report. The reason is, the Chinese government is currently using one of their ancient tactics in oppressing the whole Uyghur population, namely, “not only cut the grass, but also destroy the roots” . Based on this tactic, if the Chinese government suspects the loyalty of an Uyghur on themselves, they not only arrest and in some cases kill with some fake charges that person, but also they do the same to his/her extended family members. So it is very common that a lot of Uyghur families have lost more than 10 extended family members to jails, concentration camps and orphanages. Several examples of such cases are presented in the above report.
We have learned that the Chinese regime in East Turkestan has issued “arrest schedules”, “look-up tables” and printed verdicts with two blank spaces, the first for the name and the second for the jail time of the future “criminals”, to local government officials and airport administrators. These documents are issued from the top at the provincial government level down to the heads of all villages. According to such directives, the Uyghurs who “committed” crimes are divided into 3 categories: (1) 6 months to 3 years jail term ( in Chinese). People belonging to this category are ordinary, innocent ones who were arrested to fill some quota came down from the top. For example, in 2017, Urumchi police issued an order to all its branches to arrest 3000 Uyghurs and Kazakhs in this category within a week. This was reported by the Radio-Free Asia (USA). (2) 7 – 10 years jail term . It is for people who have relatives abroad, who were found to have stored forbidden contents in their smartphones, and activists. (3) 10 – 15 years jail term. It is for people who returned from abroad, who were forcibly returned from abroad, “political criminals”, and people with religious knowledge. When “catching” an Uyghur “criminal”, a local government official first determines which category that “criminal” belongs to, fills out a pre-printed verdict mentioned above, and gives that verdict to that “criminal” right at the spot.
For example, since 2016 the CCP regime in East Turkestan pressured the parents of the Uyghur students studying in different parts of the world, often using jail terms as a threat. As a result, some unknown number of Uyghur students (the number is in the thousands in our estimate) went back to East Turkestan to save their parents from trouble. However, many of those students were sentenced to 3 – 7 years of jail terms and were taken to jails directly from the Urumchi airport upon their return. In many cases their parents had never seen them after returning from abroad. They just simply disappeared in East Turkestan or somewhere else in China.
According to the accounts of a close friend who talked to us, Behtiyar, an Uyghur man in his 20s, decided to visit his parents and other relatives in Kashgar in the summer of 2016. Because restrictions and punishments are much more severe in Kashgar than in Urumchi, he decided to protect himself from all the potential troubles by having his smartphone “cleaned up” in a police “black market” in Urumchi. The police servicemen there asked him to pay 500 Yuan (more than $80) for the service. He paid them and thought he had made his smartphone “safe” to travel to Kashgar. He was thoroughly checked after he got off the airplane in Kashgar, including his smartphone. At that time, one of the police officers told him that he found prohibited contents in Behtiyar’s phone, including a photo of Turkish president Erdogan and another photo of a Turkish national flag. But Behtiyar explained to them what he did in Urumchi before starting this trip. However, they told him that they can retrieve all the deleted contents from a smartphone. The police called Behtiyar’s parents and told them to pay the police 30,000 Yuan (about $5,000) to get their son back, otherwise their son will be jailed. It took 3 days for Behtiyar’s parents to come up with such money. When they finally came to the airport with the money, the police told them that their son had been arrested, given a 7-year prison term and sent to a jail whose location was unknown to them. Behtiyar was simply disappeared this way. The person who told us the above real story also told us that one prohibited content found in someone’s smart phone earns him or her a minimum 7-year jail term. That is consistent with Bahtiyar’s 7-years prison term.
Behtiyar is not a prominent Uyghur nor a leading intellectual. He is just an average Uyghur. But we told the above story so that you would understand how a jail term is now easily handed out to an innocent Uyghur in East Turkestan.
There was a young Uyghur bodybuilder in southern East Turkestan. He was well-known to the Uyghur youth with his well-developed and very good-looking body. He is good in bodybuilding but not known in anything else. However, the Chinese government targeted him as a suspect because of his influence among the young Uyghur people. One day the police came up with a fake crime for him and threw him in a jail with a 5-year prison term. In East Turkestan, jailing an influential Uyghur figure is as simple as that. That is, being prominent or being influential among the Uyghurs is a serious crime in East Turkestan, and thousands of innocent Uyghurs were jailed and detained for such a “crime”. That is part of the reasons why more than 1 million young and adult Uyghurs are currently being held either in jails or in concentration camps, and their small children are in the orphanages.
The English-language service of the Voice of America (VOA) reported that “Recently, the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has drawn attention to increased restrictions on the ability of Uighurs in China to express and practice their religion. The State Department’s annual Human Rights Report also has highlighted repression of Uighurs’ freedoms of speech, movement, association, and assembly.” US Congressional-Executive Commission on China stated in their 2017 press release the following: “The Commission’s 2017 Annual Report highlighted intensified restrictions on religious freedom and oppressive security controls, particularly in ethnic minority regions, including the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The situation has only further deteriorated since the Report’s release in October. Today, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Chris Smith, the chair and cochairman respectively of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (the Commission), expressed alarm about the human rights crisis in Xinjiang.” We, the Torchlight Uyghur group, thank the US government, as well as the governments of the other countries and various international organizations for their support towards the Uyghur people. In the mean time, we appeal to the United Nations, foreign governments, and other international human rights and humanitarian organizations to demand the Chinese government to unconditionally release those thousands of Uyghur prisoners of influence.
4. Chen Quanguo’s Crimes against Humanity in East Turkestan
Chen Quanguo is the Communist Party Secretary of East Turkestan. 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 regime is now treating all the Uyghurs as criminals, and all the Uyghurs with religious faith as terrorists.
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 Section 3 of this report. 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. These 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.
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 Turkestan for an Uyghur prisoner to come out of a jail as a normal person like before he or she was jailed. 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. 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 can be 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.
5. Collection of DNAs of All Uyghurs
Uyghur people had started to live under the state policies of ethnic discrimination and assimilation after our homeland, East Turkestan, was occupied by the Communist Chinese in 1949. Over time, the communist regime changed the way of treating the Uyghurs to severe oppression, and the Uyghurs have been living as the second-class citizens in their own homeland ever since. However, the Chinese government has stepped up their repressive policy towards the Uyghurs further to a state terror since July of 2009, after the July 5th massacre that took place in Urumchi, the capital of East Turkestan, and such state terrorism has reached to its peak since Chen Quanguo took office as the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in East Turkestan. Under the heavy-handed rule of Chen Quanguo, all Uyghurs are now being treated like criminals, and all the Uyghurs with religious faith are now being treated like terrorists. One of the prominent aspects of such treatments is the collection of the DNA data of the entire Uyghur population in East Turkestan without legal protection and without the knowledge of the people whose DNAs are being collected.
It was reported by various media sources in 2017 that the local government in East Turkestan had spent more than 10 million dollars to purchase 12 DNA sequencers to test and analyze DNA samples. Some of them are ‘next generation’ DNA sequencers, which could be used to determine ancestry, eye color and other physical characteristics from genetic samples. Several biologists estimated that, if used at full capacity, the new equipment could be used to profile up to 10,000 DNA samples a day and several million a year. We have learned from several witnesses who fled China recently and also from some Chinese media reports that the local government had already started the collection of the DNA samples from a large number of Uyghurs, and the Chinese authorities are planning to continue this process until the DNA samples of all Uyghurs are collected.
Many countries use DNA fingerprinting to solve and prevent crimes, but most Uyghurs living abroad are extremely worried about how the DNA is being collected in East Turkestan. In March of 2017, Chinese state media detailed the conclusion of a 4-month program during which 17.5 million people — who were predominantly Uyghurs — were given health checks, including blood tests. Last year, other reports emerged that most of the people who underwent these examinations had been forced to do so.
The whole Uyghur population in East Turkestan is currently under attack from all directions by the communist Chinese regime. One reason is that East Turkestan is a key strategic point in China’s “One-Belt, One-Road (OBOR)” initiative, and the whole Uyghur population has become an inconvenience for that initiative. It is not clear where or when this ends, or if it ends at all. More than 10% of the Uyghur population is currently being held illegally in jails, Nazi-style political “re-education” concentration camps and orphanages. We were told that the largest construction project currently underway in East Turkestan is the building of new jails and new concentration camps throughout its territory. Some international organizations such as Human Rights Watch warned that the collection of the Uyghurs’ DNAs could be used as a way for the authorities to intensify their political control. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, has recently raised concerns with Thermo Fisher Scientific, an American company supplying DNA sequencing equipment to China, regarding its business in East Turkestan. But, because the Uyghurs have no legal representation and virtually no institutional support in China, the Chinese government is practically unrestricted in conducting any types of human experiments on the Uyghur people. For that reason, many Uyghurs living abroad are worried that the biodata of the entire Uyghur people might be used for something far worse, such as to selectively harvest the organs of the Uyghurs, as thousands of Uyghurs have already been disappeared behind “the black gate” of the Chinese mass detention system.
We, the Torchlight Uyghur Group, appeal to the United Nations, foreign governments and all international humanitarian and human rights organizations to demand the Chinese government to stop the collection of the DNA and the other biodata of the whole Uyghur population, and to disclose to the world what they are truly doing with the Uyghurs’ DNA data that they have already collected.
We are constantly adding new information/contents to this report. Please visit http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/ for its up-to-date version. Thank you!
References and urls for additional information
- China Detains Uyghurs in Nazi Style Camps
- Chinese Exiled Billionaire Guo Wengui Exposes China’s abuse of the Uyghurs
- Political Persecution of the Uyghurs—Brief Description of Some Individual Cases
- What It’s Like to Live in a Surveillance State
- China arrests leading Uyghur intellectual
- Chinese Authorities Arrest Xinjiang Intellectual Amid Crackdown on Prominent Uyghurs
- The owner of the “Melody Teahouse” in Ghulja got sick in prison and died in hospital (in Uyghur, Ghuljidiki “mélodiye chayxanisi” ning sahibi türmide aghrighan, doxturxanida jan üzgen)
- 50 years-old religious figure Ehmedjan Heyder is dead 4 months after being released from jail (in Uyghur, 50 yashliq diniy zat exmetjan heyder türmidin chiqip 4 aydin kéyin jan üzgen)
- Urumchi police department gave out an order to its various branches to arrest 3000 people:
- China: Rights crackdown goes global
- Around 120,000 Uyghurs Detained For Political Re-Education in Xinjiang’s Kashgar Prefecture
- Uyghurs in Xinjiang Re-Education Camps Forced to Express Remorse Over Travel Abroad
- Al-Azhar University graduate Dr. Habibullah Tohti has been jailed (in Uyghur, Ezher uniwérsitétini püttürgen doktor hebibulla toxtining késilgenliki ilgiri sürülmekte)
- Chairs Raise Alarm About Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Xinjiang
- China Xinjiang police state: Fear and resentment
- New party boss wields heavy hand of Chinese rule over Uyghurs
- Interview: ‘I lost all hope of surving’
- China’s Uighur minority shackled by digital technology as thousands are detained for ‘vocational training’
- Around 120,000 Uyghurs Detained For Political Re-Education in Xinjiang’s Kashgar Prefecture
- Police Torture of Criminal Suspects in China
- “China: Execute My Mother and My Wife Instead! I will Pay for the Bullets”
- China ‘prepares DNA testing’ of Muslims in Xinjiang
- China expands DNA data grab in troubled western region
- China’s Uighur minority shackled by digital technology as thousands are detained for ‘vocational training’
- Rubio Raises Concerns with U.S. Company Over Sale of DNA Sequencing Equipment to China
- Political Re-Education School Construction Project of the Yopurgha County, Xinjiang (East Turkestan) (in Chinese, )
- Aqtu County Political Re-Education Center Phase II Construction Project (in Chinese, )