WASHINGTON DC: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide released a report today, “To Make Us Slowly Disappear”: The Chinese Government’s Assault on the Uyghurs. The report expresses the Museum’s grave concern that the Chinese government may be committing genocide against the Uyghurs, a Muslim community in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) of northwest China. The Museum has previously determined, and today reaffirms, that crimes against humanity are being committed.
“The Chinese government has done its best to keep information about crimes against the Uyghurs from seeing the light of day. The information that has come out so far, including documentation from courageous Uyghur activists, has been damning. The Chinese government must halt its attacks on the Uyghur people and allow independent international monitors to investigate and ensure that the crimes have stopped,” said Tom Bernstein, Chair of the Museum’s Committee on Conscience.
The Chinese government’s assault on the Uyghur community—marked by the incarceration of between one and three million people as well as abuses such as forced sterilization, torture, sexual violence, and forced labor—is alarming in scale and severity,” said Naomi Kikoler, director of the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “The damage inflicted upon Uyghur individuals, families, and their community has left deep physical and emotional scars. The trauma from these atrocities will harm generations of Uyghurs.”
The Museum’s findings, based on publicly available information, demonstrate that China is failing to uphold its responsibility to protect its citizens from genocide and crimes against humanity. “The urgency of the situation facing the Uyghurs should be a wake up call to countries around the world to work together to protect the Uyghur population. Confronting the crimes of a powerful perpetrator who is using new technologies for persecution will be difficult, but that is precisely why genocide prevention requires a coordinated, global response. The Chinese government’s crimes cannot be allowed to continue,” Kikoler said.
A federally chartered, nonpartisan educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum serves as America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance and inspires leaders and individuals worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.