China’s human rights violations against the Uyghur community


International law on human rights violations refers to any body of law intended to protect, promote and govern human rights at an international level. The source of this law is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. This Declaration outlines a wide range of civil, political, economic, cultural, and social rights inherent or natural to all humans, regardless of race, creed, or gender. These rights include the right to life, liberty, security, and freedom from torture, slavery, and illogical and randomly detained, as well as the right to justice, freedom to express, gather, and associate, education, healthcare, and ownership of work. Many international treaties, standards, and rules aim to protect certain human rights.

All countries have ratified these treaties, standards, or rules. Suppose they fail to comply with international human rights law. In that case, the affected persons or groups can file complaints with the relevant international bodies, such as the U.N. Human Rights Council and International Criminal Court. This article will highlight China’s human rights and expose human rights violations by the Uyghur people.

History of China’s human rights violations and the Continuation of this Trend

China has a long history of human rights violations. This can be traced back to the early years of the People’s Republic of China. The Communist Party launched a series of campaigns to suppress dissent and rebels to consolidate their power.

The Chinese government launched a series of political cleansing campaigns in the 1950s. These included the Anti-Rightist Campaign and the Cultural Revolution. This campaign resulted in the imprisonment, torture, execution, and death of millions. China has been under fire for its human rights record, political suppression, political censorship, suppression, and restriction on freedom of expression, assembly, and speech since then. This political tyranny now focuses on treating minorities, especially the Uyghur community of Xinjiang.

In 2014 the Chinese government began a brutal crackdown on Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities. The government’s “strike tough” campaign against extremism and terrorism was launched. The campaign saw mass detention of Uyghurs and other forms of repression, such as forced labor, forced sterilization, and mass surveillance.

While the Chinese government may have tried to defend its actions under the pretext that it was preventing terrorist attacks, governments and human rights organizations around the globe have condemned this treatment of Uyghurs for being a gross violation of human rights.

China’s treatment of the Uyghurs is not the only one criticized. China also faces criticism for its actions towards Falun Gong practitioners and Tibetans. The Chinese government has denied these allegations, but transparency and accountability remain lacking.

The conflict between China, Uyghur community

Uyghurs and Chinese policymakers are at odds. The main issue is which group holds more extraordinary historical claims to the Xinjiang area. Uyghurs believe their ancestry is from this region, while Chinese government policy contains that the province of Xinjiang has belonged to China since 200 BC during the Han dynasty.

Uyghur community: Who are they?

Uyghurs are a minority of ethnic Muslims based in Xinjiang, an Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. This community is culturally, linguistically, and linguistically different from the ethnic Han majority of China. They also have their language, Uyghur.

Their lineage can be traced back to the sixth century. C.E. They migrated to Mongolian steppes in the C.E. They were Turkic people who spoke a language similar to Uzbek. Their religion was predominately Islam. They also founded many Islamic states. These states were called East Turkestan. This entire region of East Turkestan was annexed to mainland China in 1884. It was renamed Xinjiang, which means “New Frontier.”

With The collapse of the Qing dynasty was in 1911. Some Uyghur leaders tried to establish several Muslim Republics in Western China. However, the Communist Party rose to prominence in 1949. China claimed Xinjiang once more. The government encouraged members of the Han community, especially those of ethnic minority, to settle in the newly-acquired province as a matter of policy. The community was only 6.7% in the area when the project began. By 1978, it had grown to 41.6%. This province is now the largest in China and the most economically important. The Han community has been integral to this growth and has inundated the cities. The 12,000,000 Uyghur population is currently the largest in China. However, they are a small minority and mainly live in rural areas. This means that they remain excluded from development.

Chinese Crackdown on Xinjiang

Since 1949, the Chinese Communist Party has prohibited the Muslim community of Uyghurs from engaging in religious activity. The community is facing increasing oppression and has sought independence from China. This was possible with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the formation of Central Asian States such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

China also first classified and branded Uyghur Muslims as terrorists in 1990. Although the Taliban was elected to power in 1996, and Al-Qaeda and Taliban were close to Xinjiang, 1998 saw the rise of Uyghur Muslims. However, Xinjiang didn’t face extremism.

In July 2009, ethnic riots broke out for the first time due to the ongoing discrimination of the Chinese government against the Uyghur community. Despite both the Uyghur and Han communities suffering setbacks, deaths, and losses, this period saw the Chinese Communist Party changing its attitude towards the Uyghur community. The Chinese government’s hardline approach to the Uyghur community led to more atrocities.

What has happened to the Uyghur Community since 2013?

China in 2013 adopted the Belt and Road Initiative. This infrastructure project connects East Asia and Europe. For this project to succeed, the government realized that Xinjiang needed to be closely controlled. In 2014, the government launched a Strike Hard Campaign to combat violent terrorism. This resulted in an increase in arbitrary detentions, surveillance and freedom of movement within the Uyghur community. In an attempt to dilute the community further, the government advocated intercommunity marriages between Uyghur and Han communities. In Xinjiang, there were two million Han residents between 2015 and 2018. Although forced sterilization, abortion, and other forms of population control measures were used against Uyghur women, the Hans family was exempted from these actions. It was actually during this period that the Chinese government reversed its most notorious One Child policy, increasing it twofold and then increasing it threefold.

China built a massive detention center in 2017, which they called re-education camps. Individuals from the Uyghur community, were detained in these camps for frivolous reasons. They were required to abandon their religious and cultural beliefs, and undergo other indoctrination. These accusations of human rights violations have been denied by the Chinese government. On the contrary, the Chinese government claims that the whole thing is a step towards combating terrorism and extremism. The international community expressed strong reservations about this claim.

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