A 3-year-old boy skips in front of the White House, playfully poking bystanders, giggling as they shy away from his blue and white flag. Three-thousand miles away in East Turkistan, hundreds of his relatives are being murdered, sterilized, and silenced in concentration camps run by the Chinese Communist Party.
“Since China occupied East Turkistan in late 1949, the Chinese government has executed a brutal persecution campaign against the Uyghur and other Turkish populations in East Turkistan,” said Salih Hudayar, founder of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNMA), at a march against China’s genocide in East Turkistan on Friday. “In recent years, China’s colonization and occupation has exacerbated what is, without doubt, genocide as defined under international law.”
Hudayar, a Uyghur American, political refugee, and prime minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, was born in East Turkistan. His great-grandfather was killed when China re-annexed East Turkistan in 1949, capturing the area now known as Xinjiang. Uyghur Muslims have a more than 4,000-year heritage in East Turkistan, and historically, East Turkistan is a part of Central Asia, not China. Friday marked the second time Hudayar’s activist organization has protested in front of the White House.
About 12 million Turkic-speaking Muslims, mostly Uyghurs reside in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. With such an extensive lineage, Uyghur Muslims, whom Hudayar said used to occupy more than 90 percent of East Turkistan and now make up less than 40 percent of the region’s population, are calling on the Unites States for support — specifically for a boycott of the 2022 Olympics, which will be held in Beijing.
“We ask the G7 nations, especially the United States, led by President Joe Biden, to set a moral example by leading the globe in boycotting the Beijing 2022 Olympics,” Hudayar said. “We should not empower China by allowing it to host the Winter Olympics while it is engaged in genocide and other crimes against humanity.”
On his final day in office, then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the situation in Xinjiang an “ongoing genocide.” Pompeo accused China of committing crimes against humanity, calling on
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