The treatment of the Uyghurs in China must be addressed

This genocide should not go on ignored



The province of Xinjiang, in China, is where most of the camps created by the Chinese government for the Uyghurs are located. “File:China Xinjiang relief location map.jpg” by NordNordWest is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Elise Wood, Opinion and Clubs Editor

The Holocaust and other events during World War II horrified the entire world. Everyone wanted to make sure that no genocide would ever happen again, and be ignored by other governments for so long. However, since then, there have been many genocides, including the Rwandan and Rohingya Genocides. Although the scale of these was not as large, this is still a problem that’s largely ignored and extremely important. Today, most people are aware of the Uyghur Muslim people being detained in “re-education” camps in Xinjiang, China. Unfortunately, it’s taken years to attract any attention, and even now is being largely ignored, even though this is an incredibly large scale problem. “Since late 2016, authorities in Xinjiang have built thousands of police stations, installed billions of dollars in surveillance technology and set up internment camps that the U.S. says have incarcerated more than 1 million Uighurs,” a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article said. This is not something that we can allow to continue.

The Uyghur people are facing loss of basic human rights. These include the right to be detained only fairly, the right to a public trial, and the right to freedom of religion and thought. These human rights violations have ranged in size, from forbidding Uyghurs to “fast during Ramadan, grow beards or give their children Islamic names,” (WSJ) to the much more serious “imprisoning, torturing and carrying out forced sterilization” (WSJ). The Chinese government is taking away their freedom of religion, and even their freedom in general. These are huge violations of unalienable rights, and they shouldn’t be ignored.

One of the main arguments against acting to protect the Uyghur people is that the Chinese government is just trying to combat terrorism. In fact, this is what China has asserted it is trying to do. However, according to WSJ, “Uighurs in general adhere to a moderate form of Islam and have long resisted radicalization. If that is changing, it is due in large part to the government’s punishment of any expression of Islamic faith.” By persecuting the Uyghur people, the Chinese government is not going to successfully end terrorism. Instead, they are committing crimes that many countries have called genocide, making the Chinese government no better than terrorists.

We need to do more to end this treatment of the Uyghur people. One of the most important things is to stop ignoring it, and treat it like the human rights crisis it is. If you can vote, please vote for people who are willing to do more to address problems like these. If not, you can boycott goods made in China that may have been made in Xinjiang, where the camps the Uyghur people are being held in are located. It’s hard to know how to address human rights crises such as this, but we need to try. If we don’t, we are allowing genocides to go unpunished, and they will continue to get more and more large scale. We can’t continue to ignore this issue.