Beneath is the transcript of UHRP Director Omer Kanat’s remarks on the release of UHRP’s new file at the systematic destruction of mosques in East Turkestan. The development additionally featured remarks by means of the file’s major researcher and author Bahram Sintash, NED President Carl Gershman, and observation by means of Elise Anderson and RFA Uyghur Provider Director Alim Seytoff. All the tournament will also be considered at the video posted underneath.
October 29, 2019
Nationwide Endowment for Democracy
I need to thank the Nationwide Endowment for Democracy for co-hosting this tournament and for supporting UHRP’s human-rights documentation paintings for greater than a decade. We’re actually thankful.
Govt denial and secrecy
Our new file items proof of the whole or partial destruction of over 100 mosques. That is vital since the executive claims to be respecting freedom of worship. It strongly denies that those demolitions are going down. Due to this fact, it’s rather bad for someone in East Turkestan to supply proof of what’s going down. Offering this type of data will virtually unquestionably imply you’re going to be detained your self. However as a result of we’ve got those satellite tv for pc pictures, in conjunction with the images that Bahram has collated, those desecrations can’t be fully hidden.
Barham has additionally long gone deeper into the which means of this destruction, by means of talking with individuals who know or knew those mosques really well. He spoke with Alijan Hasan, a researcher in Islamic tradition, who left Est Turkestan in 2016 and is now residing within the Center East. Bahram talked with him concerning the Keriya Mosque. It’s the oldest and biggest mosque in East Turkestan, and has witnessed 800 years of Uyghur historical past. Alijan Hasan advised Bahram, quote, “I at all times prayed at this mosque once I visited Keriya. The final time I visited was once once I attended my cousin’s wedding ceremony, and I took an image with the groomsmen in entrance of the gate. For the protection of alternative people who find themselves within the photograph, I will be able to’t proportion it.” Unquote. So that is the placement: even sharing previous images of group reviews at those mosques is also too bad to the individuals who used to hope at them.
Imams, lecturers, and civil society
Additionally it is vital to notice that the imams who oversee those mosques had been focused for serious and inhuman remedy. The objective seems to be to completely take away non secular leaders from society, and now not “re-educate” them, as legit propaganda suggests. In fact, all Imams had been already vetted by means of the federal government. For a number of years prior to the disaster started in 2017, they had been pressured to offer sermons that had been written for them by means of the federal government, praising executive coverage. Nonetheless, as soon as the disaster started, this equipped no coverage. They had been taken away en mass. Many had been given very lengthy jail sentences.
Probably the most few camp survivors, Erbol Ergali, now in Kazakhstan,has mentioned that imams in detention with him had been sentenced to two decades in jail and saved continuously shackled. Every other former detainee, Amanzhan Seiituly, stated that during his mobile weren’t best Imams, but additionally other people hired as guards and cleaners at mosques, in addition to individuals who had registered at mosques prior to praying.
Many non secular leaders have died in custody. On January 29, final yr – in 2018 — UHRP won affirmation from relations of Muhammad Salih Hajim that he had died in an internment camp. Muhammad Salih Hajim was once a distinguished Koranic pupil and Uyghur non secular chief. He translated the Koran from Arabic into Uyghur on the request of the Chinese language executive. He was once 82 years previous when he was once taken into custody on the finish of 2017. His daughter, Nezire Muhammad Salih, and different relations had been additionally taken away on the identical time. That is best one of the an identical instances, the place all of the circle of relatives of a non secular chief has been taken away to the camps.
Husan Kari Hajim, the oldest Imam of the Keriya mosque, went lacking in 2017 and there’s no information of him. Imin Damollam won a lifestyles sentence in 2017. He was once a graduate from the primary cohort of the Xinjiang Islamic Institute and was once assigned to the Keriya mosque as Imam by means of the federal government in 1992.
Abdulnehed Mehsum is every other famous non secular pupil who died in custody. He died whilst being held in an internment camp in Hotan prefecture in November 2017, even supposing his dying was once now not reported till Would possibly 2018.
Abdurashid Salih is every other non secular pupil who died in June 2018 in Ghulja. He was once our neighbor in East Turkestan, in Nilka County, and I spent a number of days with him when he visited Istanbul in 1996. His frame was once given to his circle of relatives in June 2018, his head was once lined with a white sheet, and a blood stain was once visual from a distance. His members of the family weren’t allowed to participate in his burial and weren’t allowed to the touch the frame.
The focused on of civil society must even be famous. This began early. The case of Abliz Haji is a major instance. Abliz Haji was once one of the devoted Uyghur Muslims who labored to rebuild group and village mosques. He controlled the voluntary contributions for the development of a mosque close to Hotan. He was once arrested in 2015. He was once tortured to power him handy over the names of people that made donations. He refused to cooperate, and was once passed a 10-year jail sentence.
The standard destruction of mosques, shrines and cemeteries – and the systematic removal of spiritual students and lecturers from society – make something very transparent. There will also be indubitably concerning the Chinese language executive’s objectives referring to the way forward for the Uyghur other people. This can be a step by step marketing campaign to erase Uyghur sacred puts and Uyghur non secular observe from the face of the earth. This is a transparent indicator of genocidal intent.
I will be able to say extra about explicit coverage suggestions within the dialogue. For now, I can be aware that UHRP is once more calling on UNESCO and anxious governments to take pressing motion to forestall this systematic destruction of a other people and their religion.