Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) solemnly commemorates the ninth anniversary of the Yarkand massacre, a day etched in pain and sorrow. On July 28, 2014, and in the days that followed, unspeakable atrocities were unleashed upon innocent Uyghur protesters by the merciless Chinese security forces in Yarkand. The repercussions of that dark day reverberate even more fiercely today. The oppressive state policies have relentlessly intensified, leading to the detention of millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic people, constituting nothing short of a genocide.
Yet, despite the passage of nine long years, the truth about the horrors that transpired in July 2014 remains obscured in secrecy and deceit. The veil of uncertainty shrouds the fate of countless arrested, murdered, and disappeared individuals. The anguish of the families left behind is exacerbated by the absence of transparency, accountability, and justice. In the aftermath of the massacre, a veil of silence was drawn over East Turkistan as internet and cellular communication were abruptly severed, stifling the voices of those affected. Adding to the heinousness, Chinese state media continuously manipulated the number of deaths, erasing the magnitude of the tragedy from the world’s consciousness.
Executive Director Rushan Abbas expressed her deep sorrow for the victims and called for renewed action to address the plight of Uyghurs: “Today, as we mourn the lives lost in the Yarkand Massacre, we must recommit ourselves to fighting for justice and freedom for the Uyghur people. In East Turkistan, innocent individuals, including my own sister Dr. Gulshan Abbas, continue to endure prolonged sentences, facing immense atrocities and injustice. We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the unfathomable suffering and trauma faced by Uyghurs under the repressive policies of the Chinese government. I implore the international community to stand in solidarity with the Uyghurs, to advocate for accountability, justice, and an end to this genocide.”
The Yarkand Massacre stands as a stark example of the brutal tactics employed by the Chinese authorities to suppress legitimate cultural, religious, and political expressions. CFU calls upon the international community to condemn these atrocities and hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions. Only through united efforts and unwavering determination can we bring an end to the suffering of the Uyghur people.