US Commission On International Religious Freedom Warns That China Is Committing Genocide Against Uighurs, Urges Investigation

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)  warned that the Chinese Community Party may be perpetrating genocide against the country’s Muslim populations, and urged the U.S. to investigate whether the actions meet the legal definition for genocide, the commission announced in a statement Tuesday.

The statement follows an investigation by the Associated Press that found that the Chinese government is committing “demographic genocide” against Uighur Muslims through forced abortions, birth control, mass detentions and imprisonment.

An ethnic Uyghur girl waits in a beauty salon to have her hair done before the Corban festival on September 8, 2016 in Turpan County, in the far western Xinjiang province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

An ethnic Uyghur girl waits in a beauty salon to have her hair done before the Corban festival on September 8, 2016 in Turpan County, in the far western Xinjiang province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

“It’s evident from the Chinese government’s own data that the Communist Party’s policies are clearly designed to prevent population growth for the Uyghur, Kazakh, and other Turkic Muslim peoples,” USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel said in the statement. 

“We urge the State Department to investigate whether the Chinese authorities’ deliberate and systematic attempt to genetically reducing the Turkic Muslim population in Xinjiang meets the legal definition for genocide as contemplated in the Genocide Convention. We also call on the U.S. government to introduce a resolution at the U.N. on these crimes that the Chinese Communist Party has committed against the Uyghurs and other Muslims in China.”

Among the criteria that qualify as genocide is “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The Associated Press investigation, based on interviews with 30 former detainees, family members, a former detention camp instructor, government statistics and state documents, found that the Chinese government seeks to dramatically lower the birthrates of Uighurs and other minorities while encouraging other populations to produce more children.

USCIRF released its annual report in April which assesses religious freedom violations and progress in 29 countries during 2019. China was designated a “country of particular concern”, meaning the government engages in or tolerates “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom, including torture, prolonged detentions without charges, and abductions. (RELATED: Pompeo Demands China End ‘Horrific’ And ‘Dehumanizing’ Forced Abortions, Sterilizations Of Uighurs)

Between 900,000 and 1.8 million Muslims have been detained in more than 1,300 concentration camps in Xinjiang — a region that has become infamous for the hundreds of camps where Uighur Muslims are detained and never charged with crimes.

This photo taken on June 2, 2019 shows buildings at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center, believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. (GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

This photo taken on June 2, 2019 shows buildings at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center, believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. (GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

The Chinese government claims Uighur Muslims are involved in terrorist activities, and have taken extreme measures to foist sinicization upon the population, like outlawing fasting during Ramadan, in order to bring all religions in line with the Communist Party’s vision of Chinese culture. 

Han Chinese are not usually subjected to the forced abortions, sterilizations, IUD insertions and detentions, the Associated Press reported.

“It is absolutely horrifying that the Communist Chinese government is targeting a religious community for forced sterilization in the 21st century,” noted USCIRF Commissioner Gary Bauer in the USCIRF statement.

 “We urge President Trump and the U.S. government to swiftly impose targeted sanctions under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act against the officials responsible for this heinous policy.”