Belgian PM to visit China: Uyghur Muslims urge him to raise voice for them

at 8:07 pm
File pic of a protest by Uyghurs against Chinese occupation.

Washington: Ahead of his visit to China beginning tomorrow, Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo has been urged by the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) to use the opportunity to hold the Chinese government responsible for the ongoing “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in East Turkistan, which is called as Xinjiang Province by Beijing.

The ETGE, which represents the East Turkistani people, urged the Belgian Prime Minister to be the voice of the voiceless and address the critical humanitarian crisis in China-occupied East Turkistan during his diplomatic visit.

“Following the Belgian Foreign Relations Committee’s 2021 recognition of China’s atrocities in East Turkistan as crimes against humanity and the serious ‘risk of genocide’, the ETGE implores Prime Minister De Croo to use his diplomatic influence to address these grave injustices,” it said in a press statement.

It drew the attention of the Belgian PM to the Chinese government’s atrocities in East Turkistan, including the mass internment of over 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples in concentration camps and prisons, the widespread enslavement of millions in forced labor camps, mass surveillance, religious repression, and cultural eradication targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.

“China’s atrocities in East Turkistan, widely recognized as genocide and crimes against humanity, rooted in colonialism and occupation, challenge the principles of human rights and self-determination that Belgium and the European Union uphold,” the statement said.

Salih Hudayar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Security of the ETGE, emphasized the urgency of this issue.

“As Belgium holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, it has a unique opportunity and moral responsibility to lead the international community in holding China accountable for its atrocities in Occupied East Turkistan,” he stated.

Prime Minister De Croo’s discussions in Beijing should reflect the severity of the humanitarian crisis in East Turkistan and the global imperative to uphold the commitments of “Never Again,” human dignity and international law.

“The ETGE implores Prime Minister De Croo to act as a voice for the voiceless and champion the rights of the East Turkistani people,” it said.

“The situation in East Turkistan is not merely a regional concern but a matter of international importance, impacting global human rights standards, international law and security.

“China’s ongoing genocide and mass enslavement in East Turkistan represent one of the most pressing human rights crises of our time,” the ETGE said.

The international community’s response to these atrocities will be a testament to its commitment to human rights and justice, it said.

“The support of nations like Belgium is crucial in our struggle for justice and human dignity. Prime Minister De Croo’s visit to China is an opportunity to make a significant impact on the international stage and to stand up for the oppressed people of East Turkistan,” said Hudayar.

Belgium’s leadership can play a pivotal role in bringing these issues to the forefront of international diplomacy, the ETGE said and urged Prime Minister De Croo to use his diplomatic leverage to initiate a global response to the crisis in East Turkistan.

The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) remains committed to advocating for the rights and freedoms of the East Turkistani people and the restoration of East Turkistan’s independence.