Among Uyghur activist and exile groups, Erkin Tuniyaz, Governor of the Uyghur Autonomous Region, Xinjiang, is widely despised as a traitor and Uyghur puppet of Beijing, reported Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights.
Recently, Tuniyaz cancelled a trip to the United Kingdom and the European Union after an outcry from politicians and Uyghur activists who said welcoming him would tacitly condone China’s human rights abuses against Uyghurs.
Tuniyaz starred in a “theatre” at the United Nations in 2019, in a show that China orchestrated. As the keynote speaker, he announced the closure of the transformation through education camps, which China had long denied even existed, and later presented as “vocational training centers.”
He also claimed at that time, “All trainees of these facilities will have graduated by October 2019,” reported Bitter Winter.
In fact, the camps were not closed; they were turned into prisons. More than three million Uyghurs who had been detained indefinitely were sentenced to various lengths of imprisonment without trial.
Thus, China protected itself from the international criticism it was exposed to by changing the Uyghurs’ illegal detention to “legal” detention. The name of the camps had changed, not the situation.
Numerous Western nations, including the UK, have condemned China for grave human rights abuses involving Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in Xinjiang under a government crackdown to prevent terrorism and religious extremism in the restive region, reported Bitter Winter.
Tuniyaz has defended China’s policies in Xinjiang in the past, including in a video address to the United Nations in February 2021, during which he said the vast network of “re-education” camps in the region where Uyghurs were interned “educated and rehabilitated people influenced by religious extremism.”
In reality, millions of families were torn apart by incarcerations in the camps. Families were driven out of the labour force, and widowed women were indirectly and directly forced to marry Han Chinese immigrants, reported Bitter Winter.
More than 500,000 “orphans” were sent to orphanages. To hide this situation, information and communication restrictions doubled in the region, and as a result, thousands of Uyghurs abroad were unable to communicate with their relatives in the motherland.
For three years, an entire nation was held, hostage. The birth rate of the Uyghur population declined vertically in Hotan and Kashgar.
While, Tuniyaz proclaimed this situation a portion of heaven: “People of all ethnic groups in the XUAR are united as closely as the seeds of a pomegranate,” reported Bitter Winter.
Tuniyaz’s role in the establishment and management of concentration camps was also prominent, but he was not alone in this Chinese project of the century. The uniqueness of his role, with the testimony of his ethnic identity in defence of the camps, was one of the most important tools of the Uyghur genocide.
These puppet officials are supported by Beijing in the extent and scale of their role; a comfortable standard of living has always been provided for them and their families, reported Bitter Winter.
Puppets are known for their soft necks, obedience to Chinese authorities, and, conversely, for their stubbornness, arrogance, and brutality toward Uyghurs. Therefore, Uyghurs see these puppet officials as traitors. (ANI)