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Our responsibility towards the Uyghurs

Engin Eroglu

The fate of the Uyghurs remains in the public eye, and that is a good thing. Only this week the topic was discussed in the German Bundestag and also in the resolution of the European Parliament to the sanctions by China the problem takes an important position.

During the debate in the Bundestag, however, it also became clear again that despite the steadily growing burden of proof against the Chinese government, there are still people who doubt that Uyghurs are being systematically persecuted, enslaved and tortured. Debates about what legal term should be used when we talk about what is happening in Xinjiang are legitimate and important. Turning a blind eye to the evidence that it is happening, however, is negligent. We have already seen in Rwanda what can happen when the world stands idly by and acts too late.

Just a month ago, Human Rights Watch, one of the two most important human rights organizations in the world, provided detailed evidence in its new report that what is happening in Xinjiang is crimes against humanity. More and more countries are also recognizing the crimes as genocide, because genocide often goes hand in hand with crimes against humanity. Central that we create a consensus here, because only then can we act together.

We must let Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the region know that we see them and that we stand up for them. We must ensure that this ongoing horror comes to an end and that we hold those responsible accountable. To do that, we need to keep talking about the issue and keep putting the situation of the Uyghurs on the agenda at the national level as well. On June 11, with the European Democratic Party, I myself have planned an event in Berlin to address the fate of the Uyghurs in the shadow of the EU-China Investment Agreement, bringing together politicians, experts and eyewitnesses. Initiatives like this are essential to keep reminding that we all have a responsibility not to look away and to clearly position ourselves against such crimes also in the 21st century.

Engin Eroglu
Freie Wähler MEP