Netherlands Becomes the First European Country to Declare China’s Treatment of Uyghurs ‘Genocide’

Quinn Weimer | February 26, 2021 | 3:17pm EST
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(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- On Thursday, Feb. 25, the Dutch parliament issued a resolution declaring that Communist China’s treatment of the Muslim Uyghurs constitutes “genocide.” This was the first such declaration by a European nation.

“A genocide on the Uyghur minority is occurring in China,” the Dutch resolution said.

“Recognizing the atrocities that are taking place against the Uyghurs in China for what they are, namely genocide, prevents the world from looking the other way and forces us into action,” left-wing lawmaker Sjoerd Sjoerdsma told Reuters.

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - DECEMBER 15: Workers paddle through the Hofvijver, a pond in front of the Binnenhof, the Dutch parliament building, on December 15, 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands. The new nationwide "hard lockdown" has been imposed for five weeks where schools, all non-essential shops, hairdressers, museums, theatres and gyms are closed to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases. (Photo by Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - DECEMBER 15: Workers paddle through the Hofvijver, a pond in front of the Binnenhof, the Dutch parliament building, on December 15, 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images)

Numerous media reports have confirmed that China has placed more than one million Uyghurs in concentration camps, or “re-education camps.” The Chinese authorities claim they are trying to educate the Uyghurs to integrate socialism into their religious beliefs.

On Jan. 19, 2021, then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "I have determined that the People's Republic of China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China, targeting Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups.”

The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) is the democratically elected official body representing East Turkistan and its people (Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tatars, and Mongols) that reside in East Turkistan (renamed Xinjiang by China). It is led by Prime Minister Salih Hudayar and other democratically elected officials. 

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(Getty Images)

In response to the Netherlands’ declaration, Prime Minister Hudayar answered several questions by email from CNS News.

CNS News: “I understand that the government had reservations about using the term ‘genocide’ to classify what is happening in China because the U.N. has not deemed it as such yet. Why do you think the U.N. has not made any ruling on the classification of China's actions against the Uighur community?”

Hudayar: “While we cannot be sure why the U.N. has not deemed China's actions against the Uyghurs and other peoples of East Turkistan a genocide, it might be because of China's role on the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. Human Rights Council, and overall influence within the U.N.

“The Dutch motion said that the Chinese government's actions, such as ‘measures intended to prevent births’ and ‘having punishment camps,’ fell under United Nations Resolution 260, generally known as the genocide convention.”

  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

CNS News: “What can other countries do to acknowledge the atrocities happening in Xinjiang? Do you believe countries should follow the Netherlands in passing legislation claiming genocide official?”

Hudayar: “We refer to our country as East Turkistan, as that was the name used before China occupied our country in late 1949 and renamed it ‘Xinjiang (New Territory).’  In terms of your question, I believe every country should follow the U.S., Canada, and now the Netherlands in naming China's actions against the Uyghurs a genocide.  In today's press release, I said: ‘We urge all countries worldwide, especially democratic nations, to follow suit and recognize China's genocide in Occupied East Turkistan.’”

CNS News: “According to The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press), China has killed 65 million of its people for political/Marxist reasons since 1950, and crimes continue to this day. Why are these crimes not addressed by world leaders, and what could they do?”

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(Getty Images)

Hudayar: “Countries are reluctant to address these crimes committed by China and its Communist Party because of the economic and political ties they have with China. The international community needs to uphold the U.N. Genocide Convention and its responsibility to protect commitment. Under those frameworks, there are a lot of things that can be done.”

CNS News: “Do you believe that the Uyghur concentration camps in China are morally no different than the Nazi camps and the Soviet camps? (No gas chambers in China that we know of, but still torture and killing, sterilizations, forced abortions.)

Hudayar: “While there is no evidence of gas chambers, Uyghurs are killed, and their organs are harvested. The Chinese government has built crematoria across East Turkistan to hide the evidence.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Chinese Embassy at the Hague condemned the Dutch motion, claiming that genocide in Xinjiang is an “outright lie.”

This past July, the ETGE and East Turkistan National Awakening movement filed an ICC complaint against Chinese officials, citing genocide and crimes against humanity.

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