Human Rights Politics Social Justice Uyghur

The Urumqi Massacre and the Subsequent Genocide – My Story As a British Uyghur

In school, we learn about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust – we are constantly reminded of its importance so that history does not repeat itself. I look back at the lessons and think about the irony: we are already facing a second Holocaust.

I am Uyghur. Throughout my life when people asked me where I was from and I said East Turkistan, I was met with confusion. “Did you mean Pakistan?” They would ask. “Is that like Turkey and Pakistan combined together?” I don’t blame them – you can’t find East Turkistan on the map because it’s not an independent country yet; however, this does not mean that it does not exist

Population numbers are dropping significantly with birth rates falling 24% last year by forced use of contraception and sterilization.[1] According to the United National genocide is: 

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.[2]

The events in East Turkistan tick all the boxes. We are facing a genocide. Stand in solidarity and educate yourself on this matter. Sign petitions. Write to your local MP. Sign petitions. Do not buy brands that use forced Uyghur labour and try not to buy anything from China. I know it is similar to saying try not to breathe but at least be conscious of where your products are coming from and try to make a conscious decision to be more ethical. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, an Australian think tank, conducted a report detailing a list of companies that use Uyghur forced labour. 83 companies were identified:

Abercrombie & FitchAcerAdidas
Calvin KleinCandyCarter’s
Cerruti 1881Changan AutomobileCisco
FilaFounder GroupGAC Group (automobiles)
GapGeely AutoGeneral Motors
HaierHart Schaffner MarxHisense
HuaweiiFlyTekJack & Jones
JaguarJapan Display Inc.LLBean
LacosteLand RoverLenovo
The North FaceOculusOppo
PanasonicPolo Ralph LaurenPuma
RoeweSAIC MotorSamsung
Tommy HilfigerToshibaTsinghua Tongfang
UniqloVictoria’s SecretVivo
ZegnaZTE[3] [4]
83 companies identified to use Uyghur forced labour

[1] “China cuts Uighur births with IUDs, abortion … – AP News.” 28 Jun. 2020, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

[2] “Genocide – the United Nations.” Accessed 25 Jul. 2020.

[3] “From Apple to Adidas: Brands Use Ethnic Minority Slave ….” 7 Apr. 2020, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

[4] “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-education’, forced labour and … – AWS.” Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

Urumqi Massacre Uyghur Muslims

Written by Reyhannisa Haji

One reply on “The Urumqi Massacre and the Subsequent Genocide – My Story As a British Uyghur”

Thank you so much for this article. I also didn’t know that East Turkistan existed and that the Uyghur Muslims aren’t actually Chinese. This has also put into perspective how much the media has been reducing figures and how much censorship really plays into this.
The speakers playing ‘Allahu Akbar’ ploy really goes to show how twisted their strategies have been for years. I’m glad you and your family are safe. May Allah protect us from the oppressors and free the oppressed.