We understand that it’s necessary to lockdown the cities and restrict the transportation of people after the outbreak of coronavirus. However, it is unacceptable to let the people die due to different reasons while they are supposed to be protected from the coronavirus.

Recently, we have obtained numerous video clips that show Uyghurs facing famine due to imposed self-quarantine at home. The clips also show many people who tried to break out of their homes to look for food for their families as they are not provided adequate food by the Chinese authorities. Those bitter scenes made us worry about the situation of the Uyghurs that are under forced self-quarantine.

In addition to that, Uyghurs had lost labor forces and economic capacity over the past three years as a result of the concentration camps in the region. Prominent business leaders such as Nurtay Aji and Abdujelil Aji have been arrested and their wealth has been confiscated.

The large scale lockdown might not bring a catastrophic impact to the Chinese population in the region as it brings to the Uyghur people as the economic foundation of the Chinese people is much better. However, the impact will be catastrophic to the Uyghurs who have already suffered a lot from the repression of the Chinese authorities.

The Chinese authorities are responsible for making the Uyghur population face the outbreak of coronavirus in such a vulnerable situation the same way they are responsible for not being able to contain the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, the Chinese government needs to financially assist such a vulnerable region and end its repressive policies during this crisis. Also, the Chinese authorities should start projects to assist the Uyghur population in the face of coronavirus and allow access for international aid.

Of course, as an invader, the Chinese regime would not care for a Uyghur activist’s call and would never listen to the voice of the Uyghur people. Hence, I sincerely call on the International organizations to help the Uyghur people facing famine. I especially call upon the Red Cross and the World Health Organization to communicate with the Chinese authorities, seek access and investigation, and open the door for international aid into the Uyghur region.

Finally, I would like to bring your attention to the plight of more than three million Uyghurs who are being locked up in the concentration camps over the last three years.

Yours sincerely,
Rebiya Kadeer
Leader of the Uyghur National Movement