The Uyghur Crisis: China’s Cultural Genocide | Nury Turkel | 2019 OFF

The Uyghur Crisis: China’s Cultural Genocide | Nury Turkel | 2019 OFF


(audience applause) Imagine that you’re on your way to drop your daughter off at school. Every 100 yards, you pass a checkpoint where because you’re Uyghur, the police check your ID, iris scans, monitoring every movement you make. Imagine that once your
daughter gets to the school, she’s interrogated with questions such as do your parents pray at home or read the Quran? And imagine her honest answers land you in a concentration
camp the next day. Imagine while you’re in
the concentration camp, your daughter is taken away and sent to a state run orphanage. You only find out what’s happened to her when you see her face in a government propaganda video bragging about the orphanage system. Does this sounds like a
science fiction dystopia? Absolutely. Sadly, this is the life
of the Uyghurs today in China’s controlled East Turkistan which authorities call Xinjiang, meaning new territory or new dominion. I am standing before you
as a human rights advocate, attorney, immigrant and American but more than any other title, my Uyghur identity is
the most important aspect of my life today. Uyghurs like me are
experiencing cultural genocide in Xi Jinping’s, China. Just two weeks ago, Xi Jinping told the world that remolding and replacing
other civilizations is both stupid and destructive ideas. Consider the Holocaust. Throughout the history, crises of this magnitude have not started overnight or have not happened overnight. They started small, predicated on lies and expanded rapidly. China has a long history
of persecuting Uighurs. In fact, I was born in
a prison camp in Kashgar at the height of cultural revolution. For committing the
crime of being a Uyghur, my mother was locked
up, beaten and tortured. She was forced to deliver me while wearing a cast from the chest down. This changed in the late
’80s and early ’90s. It was a time of relative freedom and economic progress. I remember going to religious
services with my father on important holidays. I witnessed the revival of Uyghur culture. As a child, I felt strongly the sense of relief and joy in being able to
participate in community life. But the China of today is not
the China of my childhood. China is rapidly regressing back to the worst version of itself. In 2009, China began
militarizing social control in the name of combating extremism. The regime is implementing
high tech surveillance and on a vast scale, drastically expanding the
imprisonment of Uyghurs, and other ethnic Turkic minorities and exporting these
surveillance technologies to other authoritarian regimes from Cambodia to Venezuela. Cities, towns, villages are blanketed with surveillance cameras. The entire population are subject to mandatory DNA and other biometric data collection. Monitoring apps are
installed on every phone. Think of east German Stasi police state with cloud competing, artificial
intelligence databases and you will have a pretty good idea of the life of the Uyghurs today. If this surveillance picks up something that the government does not like, the arrests are made swiftly without any due process. In the last two years alone, authorities have detained more than two million Uyghurs indefinitely in the government, what they call, euphemistically call educational
transformation centers or boarding schools. Let’s put that in perspective. That is the half of the size
of the Norwegian population. And these two million plus people have names, families, aspirations, like all of us in this room. As we speak, China’s detention of Uyghurs is the largest internment
of an ethnic minority since World War II. Put this in context. At the height of Nazi Germany, they were imprisoning as
many as 750,000 people. Scholars have compared these camps to Stalin’s Gulag, that detained over 18 million people during the period of 30 years. Ladies and gentlemen, never again is happening
again today in China. These camps put Uyghurs
through conversion therapy which I believe is a human
engineering and reprogramming. Camp survivors said that they’ve been forced
to study Xi Jinping ideology and to denounce their religion, amongst other form of
psychological tortures. Those don’t follow the rules, comply or do what the
authorities told them, suffer physical torture. It appears from the Chinese
government’s official statements and their actions that they have found a final solution to what officials long called the Uyghur problem for now without mass killing the Uyghurs. And what is happening in East Turkistan is not being confined there. These cruel methods of surveillance, AI powered racial targeting are being exported to eastern
China and other countries. Today, 18 countries, including Ecuador, Pakistan,
Uzbekistan, the UAE and even Germany have already adopted Chinese
surveillance techniques to repress and/or monitor
their own citizens. In fact, China has been promoting these methods as a way to deal with world’s
so-called Muslim problem. About 12 years ago, the Chinese authorities
confiscated my parent’s passport when my brother married the daughter of a leader who
spoke at this forum earlier. I haven’t seen my mother since my law school
graduation 15 years ago, my parents have not met five
of their eight grandchildren. Two of those five grandchildren are here in the audience with us. Up until last year, I was able to check in
with my parents regularly on the Chinese messaging app despite the likelihood that we are being monitored
by Chinese cyber police. Our ability to video chat and exchange photographs had given us a comfort
and sense of connection despite Chinese barring
from us meeting in person. But today, even that
kind of basic freedom, the right to communicate with
family members across borders has been taken away from us. And I’m not alone. All Uyghurs with relatives
in East Turkistan, even those who are not politically active have been similarly cut
off from their families. Like other Uyghurs, I worry that I won’t even
know when my parents die. This is not a problem for
the Chinese citizens to solve because they have no voice in the matter. Censorship in China makes it impossible for Chinese citizens to even know the existence of these camps. This is a problem for
those of us in this room and leaders around to solve. If you remain silent, this problem will persist and spread. And if you let this happen, what does that say about us? Many business leaders,
scholars, government officials are feigning ignorance today. History won’t be kind to those who turn a blind eye. Our silence is aiding the status quo. You no longer can say you did not know because you know now. I don’t want you to be just concerned or feel pity for me or my people. I want you to be outraged and I want you to act. Consider partnering with an organization like the Human Rights Foundation, make your voices heard and speak loudly and tell your country that they need to stop doing business with Xi Jinping’s China. Pressure your government officials to stop trading with China and companies like Huawei and Vision. Pressure the International
Olympic Committee, demand the Chinese shut down these camps if they still want to host
the 2022 Winter Olympics. Don’t invest in the companies building facial recognition, racial profiling surveillance system. Pressure your government
to adopt the Magnitsky Act. “Business as usual cannot continue.” The famous words of a clergyman by the name Martin Miller
in the Nazi Germany have a new resonance today. When I was growing up, I never thought that this could happen. If you don’t stand up and
fight for your rights, this could happen to you. (audience applause)

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32 thoughts on “The Uyghur Crisis: China’s Cultural Genocide | Nury Turkel | 2019 OFF”

  • If only someone could elaborate on why Germany adopted Chinese style mass surveillance.

    I'll tell you why, because they are SO PROGRESSIVE!

  • 8:51 fun fact: Hitler was the one that welcomed American athletes wholeheartedly. FDR and the rest the allies scorned them.

  • My deepest sympathy to you my Turkic cousins. Unfortunately most governments and companies kowtow to the CCP and their influence is only growing even here in Mongolia. I can only hope the sufferers can persevere until the natural, inalienable rights and self-determination of those suffering can be returned.

  • While Islamic countries exterminate any Christian who left Islam. Hang homosexuals. Pure genocide in the name of islam. As long as that killing in the name of Allah goes on, China can do whatever they like!!!!

  • رەھمەت، پەقەت ھايات قېلىش ۋە كىملىكىمىزنى ئۇنتۇپ قالماسلىق ئۈچۈن تىرىشىمىز. ھازىر مۇشۇمۇ تەسكە توختاۋاتىدۇ

  • Even if our governments won't do anything about it, please know that your Turkic brothers and sisters support you. Turkmensahra Turkmenlerinden salam bolsun Uygur gardaslarima!

  • Selamlar Türkiye'den 🇹🇷
    Biz Türküz, tarihimiz der ki: Zulüm ne kadar fazlaysa, Kurdun dişi o kadar keskin olur.
    Go Fuck Yourself China

  • Imagine if you woke up as an Uyghur one day morning, you would experience everything that we have been experiencing for long while.

  • The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) colluded with the East
    Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) to send jihadists
    to Syria.
    Rebiye who was the former President of Word Uyghur Congress said the
    East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) colluded with the East Turkistan
    Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) to send jihadists to Syria.
    The East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) selected
    jihadists, then the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) sold this
    jihadists to Syria. Those who were sent to Syria include the brother of
    Ablikim Idris, who is now the inspector general of the Word Uyghur
    Congress.

  • The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) colluded with the East
    Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) to send jihadists
    to Syria.
    Rebiye who was the former President of Word Uyghur Congress said the
    East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) colluded with the East Turkistan
    Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) to send jihadists to Syria.
    The East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) selected
    jihadists, then the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) sold this
    jihadists to Syria. Those who were sent to Syria include the brother of
    Ablikim Idris, who is now the inspector general of the Word Uyghur
    Congress.

  • The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) colluded with the East
    Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) to send jihadists
    to Syria.
    Rebiye who was the former President of Word Uyghur Congress said the
    East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) colluded with the East Turkistan
    Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) to send jihadists to Syria.
    The East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association(ETESA) selected
    jihadists, then the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) sold this
    jihadists to Syria. Those who were sent to Syria include the brother of
    Ablikim Idris, who is now the inspector general of the Word Uyghur
    Congress.