Worldwide Protests of Uyghurs on the 70th Anniversary of Communist China: 70 Years of Oppression and Humiliation for Uyghurs

Contributed to Uighur Times by Fatimah Seyyah


Oct 1, 2019


Fatimah Seyyah during the joint protest in Sydney, Australia


70 years have passed since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. While the Chinese Communist Party is celebrating the 70 glorious years of journey and wishing well for another 70 to come, outside Mainland China, millions are speaking out against the 70 years of oppression. Uyghurs are one of the groups who are strongly vocal about 70 years of the brutal rule of the CCP towards Uyghurs since their homeland, East Turkistan’s, occupation by China in 1949. On this bloody day, Uyghurs around the world took to the streets of Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey and other places to show their anger and frustration over the CCP’s continuous human rights abuses, repression of religious freedom, occupation of East Turkistan, separation of families and the genocide currently taking place in the Uyghur homeland. A large number of detention camps have been built up in East Turkistan (AKA, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) and more than 3 million Uyghurs are being detained in those facilities under the name of “vocational training”. Many of them have been transferred to unknown destinations and the majority of them are going through political indoctrination and forced labor in the prison-like concentration camps. Uyghurs and other sources believe that this is the largest mass incarceration and genocide since the Holocaust and the CCP’s method is extremely similar to that of Hitler’s killing of Jewish people.


Uyghurs from all over Europe gathered in Brussels on Oct 1, 2019 to protest against the 70 years of repression.


A creative protest in Toronto, Canada.


Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers held a joint protest in Sydney, Australia.


Joint protest in Sydney, Australia


Demonstrations in front of the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.


Forced is the word we could use to best describe the Uyghurs’ situation since the CCP’s occupation of East Turkistan. Uyghurs are forced to renounce their peaceful religion, their beautiful and rich culture, forced to speak Chinese, forced to forget their mother tongue, the Uyghur Language, forced to express their love and loyalty to the CCP, forced to cut off from their family members, forced to give up their lives for the forced organ harvesting, forced to become slaves for the CCP’s economic greed and political ambitions. Uyghur people are forced to register in the concentration camps, forced to become atheists, forced to become communists, forced to eat pork, forced to drink alcohol, forced to remove their headscarves, forced to take off their Uyghur clothes, which are contrary to their religious and cultural beliefs. Uyghur men are forced to say farewell to their loving wives and innocent children to be detained or imprisoned, Uyghur women are forced to live with the Han Chinese men, Uyghur girls are forced to marry the Han Chinese men, Uyghur children are forced to go to the children’s camps and forced to become communist Han Chinese. They are forbidden from meeting with their family members and forced to grow up the way the CCP wants them to.

Currently, East Turkistan is under the heaviest police surveillance and tight security control. Dense surveillance cameras, homestay Chinese cadres, strict ID checkpoints, confiscation of personal passports, blockade of the Internet and phones to communicate with anyone outside China made East Turkistan an open prison for the Uyghurs who are not locked up in the concentration camps.

In a recent interview, Tahir Imin Uighurian, a Uighur activist and a political scientist whose connection with his beautiful wife and daughter has been cut off by the Communist regime, told Sky News UK, that, “at the moment, a genocide is happening to Uyghurs in China.” “Uyghurs never celebrate the day as a happy day,” Imin said when he was asked about the National Day of China.


Uighur Scholar Tahir Imin speaking to Sky News

Talking about the severity of the Uyghur crisis and the 70 years of oppression, Imin stated, ‘Genocide is an intentional and systematic action aiming to destroy people. CCP is doing everything to eradicate the Uyghur culture and they are trying to do everything to assimilate Uyghurs to become Han Chinese. They are demolishing the mosques, establishing and established the detention facilities to imprison more than 3 million Uyghurs since May 2017. More than 3 million people already became the free-labor and slaves for the CCP. In the so-called Uyghur Autonomous Region, which we call it our homeland and call it East Turkistan, became a police state and open prison because the CCP is monitoring every move of Uyghurs using advanced surveillance technology. Uyghurs cannot get out of the region because their passports are confiscated, Uyghur girls are being forced to marry Han Chinese men, that’s an unwanted marriage because there is no link (between them) ethnically or religiously or any kind of harmonious relationship between the two people. This means CCP is doing everything including separating Uyghur children from their parents after sending the parents to concentration camps and prisons. CCP also detained all the influential Uyghur people including intellectuals, artists, religious leaders, businessmen. They especially target Uyghur intellectuals like Tashpolat Tiyip, the president of Xinjiang University. The CCP has imprisoned my brother and my mother and sentenced them to 10 years to 15 years after I’ve spoken to the New York Times. The CCP is forcing my wife to divorce me. They forced my daughter to say that she doesn’t want to meet me, doesn’t want to speak to me ever again. After I left China on 24th Feb. 2017, the CCP police came to my home and forced my wife to divorce me and the last message I got from my daughter was: ‘Father, don’t talk to us anymore, you are a bad person and the police is a good person.” “The police taught her to say this.”

When he was asked about how he feels about the awful situation, he replied, “It’s psychological torture for me and a very painful moment. This is common among hundreds and thousands of Uyghurs living outside of China right now.’

The interview continued with the question of, ‘Is it possible to say how many people have died in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party over the last 70 years?’, where Imin’s response was, ‘We believe that at least 3 million Uyghurs are killed by the CCP. As you know, during the Cultural Revolution and the Great Famine, according to the independent researchers, the CCP has killed at least 40 million Chinese people and they have killed millions of Uyghurs after they took power and occupied our homeland in 1949. They have also committed mass murder during Barin Revolution in 1990. In 1997, during the Ili Revolution against the Chinese occupation and also in 2009, the CCP killed more than 10,000 people. It was very recent, so we believe that even without independent research and access to information on those mass killings, we believe that the CCP has killed at least 3 million Uyghurs over the last 70 years.’

He was asked to briefly comment on the possibility of seeing his family again, Imin was emotional and expressed his feelings, “I and other Uyghurs hope to see our family members and reunite with them soon. I have not been able to speak to my wife and daughter for two years. Like many Uyghurs, we don’t have access to phone calls and internet communications.”