Mustafa Yeneroğlu, Member of Turkish Parliament, commented on the situation of Turkic Muslims living in the region of Xinjiang, China. Yeneroğlu stated: ‘‘States, as well as human rights mechanisms within the UN system, are called upon to take multilateral and unilateral actions in order to end the systematic repression of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang.’’ He added:
‘‘On 9 September 2018, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a detailed report on human rights violations committed by President Xi Jinping’s government against Muslim minorities in the region of Xinjiang. The region in north-western China hosts 13 million Turkic Muslims being primarily ethnic Uyghurs and Kazakhs, who are reported to be subjected to political indoctrination, collective punishment, restrictions on movement and communications, heightened religious restrictions, and mass surveillance in violation of international human rights law. Already in mid-August the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) reviewed the situation in China and described Xinjiang as a “no rights zone.” Thus, reports of different origins on this matter coincide with each other.
According to the interviews given in the report, the Chinese government takes restrictive measures that amount to a persecution of an ethnic and religious minority. Pursuant to the personal stories, during Ramadan local official monitor homes for people who might prepare their meal before they start fasting. The closure and conversion of mosques, as well as the pressure put by local authorities on the Turkic Muslims demonstrate that practising Islam has been practically outlawed by the Chinese government. On top of all of this, more than one million people, especially Uyghurs, are being held in detention camps and exposed to political indoctrination. They are forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, recite propaganda and sing songs praising the Chinese President and the Communist Party. The international community cannot and should not turn a blind eye on these reports.
It is needless to mention that practices like these constitute severe violations of international laws and human rights principles. States, as well as human rights mechanisms within the UN system, are called upon to take multilateral and unilateral actions in order to end the systematic repression of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. Being deeply concerned about the recent developments, we will continue to monitor closely what is happening to our Muslim brothers and sisters in China and urge the Chinese government to adhere to international laws and human rights standards.’’