The Trump administration, in in last few hours of being in power, has declared that China is committing ‘genocide and crimes against humanity’ against the Uyghur community group. Condemning mass repression, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused China of imprisoning, torturing and carrying out forced sterilisation against Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group.
US officials, while briefing reporters said that the move came after exhaustive documentation of China’s own policy, practices and abuse in Xinjiang which was viewed by Pompeo. “After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Pompeo said in a statement.
He further added that he believes the genocide is ongoing and the Chinese party-state is systematically trying to destroy the Uyghurs. “Since at least March 2017, local authorities dramatically escalated their decades-long campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz,” Pompeo said in the statement.
Earlier, the US Department of State had estimated that up to two million Uyghurs as well as members of other Muslim minority community have been detained across intermittent camps in the region. A report by CNN states that camp detainees face food and sleep deprivation and forced injections. Further, some Uyghur women were forced to use birth control and undergo forced sterilisation as a part of deliberate attempt to bring down population of the minority.
China, however, has denied the atrocities and human rights abuse. It claims that these steps are important to curb religious extremism and terrorism in an area which is home to about 11 million Uyghurs.