London [UK], April 7 (ANI): Amid worldwide condemnation and sanctions by western countries over human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, a UK-based poet and academic said the Chinese government has been terrorising the entire Uyghur population and is erasing their ethnic and cultural identity.
While detailing the atrocities inflicted by the Chinese authorities, Aziz Isa Elkun, a researcher at SOAS University of London, claimed that the occupation and colonisation of their land, called by them as 'Uyghuristan', had actually begun in 1949 but came under media scrutiny in 2017, reported Asian Image.
"After I gave an interview to CNN about the destruction of my father's tomb, the Chinese media campaigned to discredit me for speaking out against the genocide. I have not seen or spoken to my mother or sister for many years," he said.
He further said that over the last three years, almost all mosques and other religious places have been destroyed by China because they wanted to erase the Uyghur community's ethnic and cultural identity.
"In the concentration camps they carry out various types of torture and abuse and accuse us of being terrorists while the Chinese government is terrorising the entire Uyghur population...It is a lie when they say the camps are anti-radicalisation centres. If someone prays five times a day or keeps a beard or if a female covers her hair, they will be targeted by authorities and will face punishment like long term imprisonment and brutal abuse," he said.
"My message to Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran is to support the Uyghur people and demand China end its atrocities," said Aziz, adding that it was up to western democracies to protect the Uyghur population and save their lives from Chinese oppression.
"The world must hold China accountable for committing genocide against the Uyghurs," he added.
Asian Image reported that many members of Aziz's family are victims of Chinese aggression, including his sister who was held in an internment camp for over a year. Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims are brainwashed and indoctrinated in Communist ideology.
Between one to three million Uyghurs have been detained alongside other Turkic Muslim minorities including Kazakhs. Though the Chinese government claims they are offering vocational training to fight extremism, accusations of severe torture have come to light by former detainees.
According to Asian Image, Mihrigul Tursun, a Uyghur camp survivor, told the US Congressional Commission in 2018 that detainees in the camps are starved, electrocuted and strip-searched.
"My hands bled from their beatings, each time I was electrocuted, my whole body would shake violently and I could feel the pain in my veins. I thought I would rather die than go through this torture and begged them to kill me," she said.
During her detainment period of three months, nine of Tursun's cellmates lost their lives.
Another victim said that he was beaten with a wire and hung by his arms for over three hours.
In Xinjiang, the US state department had earlier said there were reports of custodial deaths related to detentions in the internment camps and there were multiple reports from Uyghur family members who discovered their relatives had died while in internment camps or within weeks of their release.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
The US Department of State under then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the crackdown on Uyghurs as 'genocide'. Beijing has been restricting information flow from the area to scrub evidence, leading countries to make determinations as best as they can. (ANI)