China’s communist party (CPC) has intensified its repression of Uyghur in recent past years including limiting their freedom of expression, freedom to move around, religion etc. Media reports have highlighted Uyghur persecution as most heinous crime against humanity in China.
Since 2017, Chinese government has incarcerated over a million Uyghurs in “re-education camps”. Those who had not been detained were subjected to high level of monitoring, religious restrictions, forced labour, forcible sterilisation in females etc. Some western researchers have termed it the largest incarceration of a minority group since the Holocaust.
In an attempt to flee persecution the Uyghurs have been opting for Turkey, which for years was seen as a safe haven for Uyghurs. Turkey shares religious, cultural and linguistic ties with this Turkic ethnic group and hosts its largest diaspora community of 45,000. On the other hand, according to a new report by Spain-based human rights group Safeguard Defenders in recent years Turkey has been “losing its reputation as a safe haven” for Uyghurs as it “closely aligns itself with Beijing economically and politically.”
“China’s transnational repression of Uyghurs overseas has created a pervasive climate of fear,” the report from Safeguard Defenders says. The report focuses on the Uyghur situation and other alleged human rights abuses by China against the Uyghur group. “Those targeted are not just human rights activists and advocates but also ordinary Uyghurs, including students and members of the business community.”
In the face of escalating situation, the U.S. says this “campaign of repression against ethnic minorities” amounts to genocide. The United Nations Human Rights Office says China may be guilty of crimes against humanity.