CFU PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 5:00 PM ET
Sabrina Sohail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) praises the U.S. Select Committee on China for holding its second hearing focusing on The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ongoing Uyghur Genocide. The hearing took place on Thursday, March 23, 2023, where camp survivors Gulbahar Haitiwaji & Qelbinur Sidik, and the Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Nury Turkel, the senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Dr. Adrian Zenz, and the director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Naomi Kikoler joined as witnesses of the Uyghur Genocide.
The hearing started with a statement from Congressman Mike Gallagher, the Chairman of the Select Committee. He mentioned the fact that the CEO of TikTok Shou Zi Chew refused to answer whether the CCP is committing the Uyghur Genocide and stated “The least we can do on this committee is to make sure that in 50 years – when the Xinjiang genocide is remembered as one of the abominations of the 21st century, no corporate executive, no policymaker, no investor, no university president can look their grandchildren in the eye and claim they didn’t know.”
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Ranking Member of the Committee, highlighted the atrocities faced by Uyghur women and children and stressed that the evidence presented during the hearing has not only been corroborated by the testimony of other survivors but also by thousands of pages of leaked internal CCP documents (like the Xinjiang Police Files) in his opening statement. He finished his statement by demanding the freedom of Dr. Gulshan Abbas, the sister of CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas, and said, “Gulshan has serious health conditions and has never been involved in political activism. I say to the CCP to release Gulshan and the others, now.”
The first-hand witnesses of China’s Uyghur Genocide Ms. Haitiwaji and Ms. Sidik testified on the brainwashing programs and the sexual abuse of Uyghur women by electric shocks and gang rape within the so-called “vocational training centers” which in fact are concentration camps. The harrowing testimonies also include forced sterilization of Uyghur women, mass surveillance, restriction on the Uyghur language, and Uyghur slave labor.
Dr. Zenz stated that there are “Implemented measures to prevent birth leading to an unprecedented decline in the Uyghur birth rate. The presumed goal of these measures and the intent behind them were to ‘optimize the ethnic population structure’, eluting Uyghur populations with Han Chinese because concentrated Uyghur populations are considered a national security threat.” In his written testimony Dr. Zenz included a list of Chinese officials including Xi Jinping for human rights-related sanctions and also the list of companies suspected or proven ties to Uyghur forced labor. In his recommendations to the committee, he highlighted the sanction of the Chinese officials complicit with the Uyghur genocide, the need to press China to end its atrocities against the Uyghurs, and the necessity to aggressively expand the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) entity list.
Mr. Nury Turkel underlined the CCP’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning for its total control regime by means of “biometric scanning using a forced collection of DNA, face scans and voice prints combined with mobile phone tracking apps, massive network surveillance cameras” and continued “To date, there are only 12 Chinese officials and entities currently under global sanctions, this is a pitiful response, we need global mass sanctions on all the Chinese high tech giants that are maintaining” complicity with Uyghurs genocide. Mr. Turkel presented 27 recommendations to congress in his written statement, including that the US government should urge every state party of the 1948 Convention to fulfill their obligations to hold perpetrators to account, a visit to the Uyghur region, the need to address the potential complicity of Silicon Valley and US universities, and urged the passing of Uyghur Policy Act and the Uyghur Human Rights Sanctions Review Act.
“The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum seeks to do for the community today that was not done for the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust,” says Ms. Naomi Kikoler, “The Chinese government must halt its crimes, release detainees and allow unfettered access to independent monitors in Xinjiang.” She continued “The US alone cannot prevent these crimes, we must work with other governments, Uyghur civil society, and the private sector to develop swift, coordinated, and global strategy to protect the Uyghur community.”
Rushan Abbas said “It is inspiring to see the cases of the Uyghur Genocide being highlighted again in front of the US Congress. It is a great recognition of the hard work of all the Human Rights defenders. Yet, it is not enough, the genocide continues, and the heartbreaking testimonies given by the former camp victims are still the realities lived by the Uyghurs in East Turkistan; tangible actions must be taken to hold Beijing accountable for its crimes.” Abbas continued to say “I am also grateful to Congressman Krisnamoorthi for demanding the freedom of my sister Dr. Gulshan Abbas who is unlawfully imprisoned by the CCP under baseless accusations. I demand the immediate release of my sister and all Uyghurs.”
The son of Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, Elisha Wiesel said in a video during the hearing “We may say never again. But genocide is in fact happening again. And it is happening on our watch.”
CFU is extremely grateful to the select committee for holding a hearing focusing on exposing the CCP’s oppression of Uyghurs and to the courageous witnesses who have given insight into the harrowing situation in East Turkistan. CFU calls on all governments to condemn China for its genocide and crimes against humanity and form an entity to collectively hold China accountable to truly fulfill the vow of ‘Never Again’.