The Uyghur Peoples of China

The Uyghur people populate East and Central Asia, and our currently categorized as one of China’s ethnic minority groups. As of this year, the Uyghur Peoples live mostly within Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China; however, smaller communities live in different countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Afghanistan, Russia, Germany, etc. Their predominant religion is Islam.

According to The New Arab, “For the past six decades, tens of thousands of Uighur Muslims have fled East Turkistan, or what is considered the Xinjiang region by China, for Western democratic countries in search of freedom.” The migration of the Uyghur peoples has slowed in recent years, and many of those who try to immigrate will be stopped by the Chinese government with the confiscation of their passports, or imprisonment. There is approximately one to three million of these people that have been imprisoned, placed into camps, or detained.

The Chinese government has recently created “re-education camps”, in which many of the Uyghur people have been forced.  These camps coerce detainees into swearing loyalty to Communist ideology and non-compliance can result in torture or prison. This process can often separate children from their families, and treatment of the Uyghur people is usually violent, hostile, and inhumane. One particular woman, Tursun, tells her story of persecution, a story in which her newborn babies were taken from her, and she was put into a crowded cell where she witnessed the deaths of many of the women that were also imprisoned.

In January of 2019, The United States introduced the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act.

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More About Uyghurs

China Uighurs: All you need to know on Muslim ‘crackdown’

Uyghur Human Rights Project