The Chinese authorities have announced that they agreed on European diplomats’ demand to visit the Uyghur region. But by stating that they will not listen to Europe’s “human rights lectures” and would not allow them to interfere in China’s internal affairs, the Chinese government has made it clear that this would not be an independent investigation. The Chinese side also stated that “China has been opening door to European diplomats to walk and take look at Xinjiang, indicating that China as an ostensibly planned to let the diplomats to see the surface but not the camps where has been the means of genocide in the camps.”

It is well known that China has been deceiving the world since the first day of the camps. As the Chinese government stated in their White Paper, it has allowed diplomats journalists from more than 50 African and Middle Eastern countries to “investigate” the Uyghur situation. But as Albanian journalist Olsi Yazici has revealed, China has taken advantage of the economic needs of these countries by deceiving, coercing, and threatening them to prevent them from conducting the independent investigation. The journalists who were visiting were not even allowed to ask questions from the captives. Moreover, these investigators went to see arranged scenes, not the actual camps; Of course, real journalists like Olsi Yazici have seen the oppression and violence even on this staged visit. But most of the investigators did not raise their voices after their visit, with a small number even praising the camps exactly as China had expected. Now, the Chinese government is attempting to silence the European Union in the same manner that they silenced those countries in Africa and the Middle East to justify its genocide through the mouths of European diplomats.

This is not the time to visit the camps in East Turkestan, but the time to take immediate action and take practical steps to close the camps. Because the ongoing genocide in East Turkestan is no secret: the world’s top research institutes have revealed the existence of at least 236 camps in East Turkestan through satellite images; investigative journalists from 12 of the world’s most influential media outlets have confirmed from the leaked Chinese classified documents that the camps are there to eradicate Uyghur identity in the cruelest way possible. Survivor witnesses from more than 20 camps who have fled around the world, revealed through their experience that these camps are death camps. More than ten thousand Uyghurs in the diaspora have testified that their families have been missing for four years. All of the facts mentioned above are publicly available. Spending more time investigating instead of taking practical measures would create an opportunity for the Chinese government to continue their massacre of Uyghurs, and this means that we are complicit in the further deaths of Uyghurs in the camps.

I urge the European countries to seriously reconsider this invitation by the Chinese government. I call the diplomats to deny all of the measures by the Chinese government that would make it impossible to conduct an independent investigation. I call all on all of us not to be complicit in the Chinese government’s Uyghur genocide.

Rebiya Kadeer
The leader of Uyghur National Movement