File Photo Photograph:( Reuters )
East Turkestan or Xinjiang region has about 10 million Uyghurs. The Turkic Muslim group makes up 45 per cent of the population. Uyghur Muslims have long accused China of cultural, religious and economic discrimination
An Uyghur Muslim leader has slammed China for its treatment of minorities in Xinjiang province and has vowed to fight against Chinese atrocities. The leader said that every Uyghur around the world was a "freedom fighter" and that they "will not rest until we make our people free".
In a fiery speech during a protest to commemorate East Turkestan`s Independence Day, the leader said: "We will not rest until we make our people free. We will not back down... We have rights. We have very basic fundamental right to fight against you every day, every hour. so today I want to say every Uyghur in the world is the soldier every Uyghur around the world is a freedom fighter."
To commemorate Independence Day on November 12, protests were held against China in various cities around the world.
East Turkestan or Xinjiang region has about 10 million Uyghurs. The Turkic Muslim group makes up 45 per cent of the population. Uyghur Muslims have long accused China of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
About 7 per cent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, has been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts. East Turkistan government in exile said that the Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tatar and other peoples of East Turkistan have spent the last 71 years fighting to restore their independence.
For the last six years, millions of East Turkistan people, mostly of Muslim faith, have been held in concentration camps, prisons and slave labour camps. According to survivors` accounts, they are being tortured, killed for their organs, raped, sterilised and executed.
The government-in-exile is advocating for official recognition from the world`s governments and parliaments.Classified documents known as the China Cables, accessed last year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, threw light on how the Chinese government uses technology to control Uyghur Muslims worldwide.However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training.
People in the internment camps have described being subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and denial of food and medicine, and say they have been prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language.
(With agency inputs)