Genocide Under the Guise of Covid Lockdown
Uyghurs and other Turkic speaking people in Chinese occupied East Turkestan have been starving under China’s systemized, forced starvation scheme since early August 2022. Under the guise of the “Zero Covid Lockdown”, the Chinese government is continuing its genocide on Uyghurs by imprisoning them in so-called “quarantine centers”, confining them in their homes, and allegedly confiscating food directly from their kitchens and refrigerators. Life is not sustainable under such duress, especially for children and the elderly, who are dying daily.
Risking Lives To Release Videos
Videos of this brutality have surfaced on the Chinese social media platform, Douyin, and have emotionally devastated the entire Uyghur diaspora. Members of the Uyghur diaspora believe that Uyghur people in East Turkestan risked their lives to release these videos of a population at the brink of starvation. Many in the diaspora fear that the lives of their family members are in danger due to the extreme lockdown measures in the region. The global Uyghur diaspora is protesting and demanding that the global community pressure China to stop this new form of genocide – forced starvation which is carried out under the guise of keeping the coronavirus infection rates in check.
For the last fifty days, Uyghurs in Ghulja (a city of roughly a half-million mainly Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims) have been releasing videos on Douyin (the Chinese version of Tik-Tok). These videos contain tragic scenes of hungry and sick children; Uyghur residents’ angry confrontations with community cadres as they demand food; street protests against the lockdown and forced starvation; elderly people in critical condition without care; unhygienic quarantine camps; and cases of fatalities caused by the extreme quarantine.
Forbidden From Working
Starting from early August 2022, Uyghur residents in Ghulja, Turpan, Korla, Hotan, Kashgar, and several other cities in East Turkestan have been forced to follow the government mandated stay at home orders. Because they are forbidden from going to work, they are dependent on community cadres to supply them with food and medicine. This enforced lockdown has been imposed despite low Covid infection rates in the area.
Fresh Food Confiscated as “Not Disinfected”
A series of videos from Ghulja features parents stating that children are starving despite repeated pleas to their local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials.
Some videos show the deaths of children who could not get medical attention due to confinement at home. Others show empty refrigerators and pantries in Uyghur homes after food was forcibly removed, having been declared “not disinfected items”. In some cases, fruits and vegetables from the local orchards and farms were destroyed as “not disinfected items.” There are also videos which highlight that livestock has been killed, also labeled “not disinfected.”
Videos of Suffering
A large percentage of Uyghur residents are being forced to live in extremely unhygienic and crowded quarantine centers where they are at increased risk of Covid infection. Family members have been separated against their will.
In Douyin videos, we have seen children who were left alone after their parents were detained. Some of these children risked their lives climbing the outside walls of their apartment buildings to reach neighbors’ apartments and seek help.
One video features a 16-year-old girl experiencing a medical emergency and hysterically crying for her mother, who is gone, as she was taken to a Quarantine center.
Many videos feature crops and fruits that were ruined because Uyghur people could not harvest them in a timely manner. These farmers and villagers will consequently face severe financial difficulties and food shortage in the near future.
Several of these videos feature the protest scene of Uyghurs in the Qara Dong neighborhood of the city of Ghulja. Ghulja has been suffering under an extreme lockdown that was implemented earlier than other cities, and has gone on for longer. According to Radio Free Asia, 617 people who broke the lockdown to peacefully protest against the forced starvation, were arrested. Even the foods donated from Turpan and Hotan to Ghulja failed to reach Uyghur homes due to the restrictions of the government.
Inadequate Reaction From Global Media
So far, the forced manmade starvation happening to Uyghurs and other Turkic speaking peoples in East Turkestan has attracted some attention from global media such as the New York Times, The Telegraph, ABC News, and several other media channels. However, in light of the severity of this forced starvation on the Uyghur population, the reaction from the global community has been altogether inadequate.
Call For an Open Source Intelligence Team
Adrian Zenz is known for revealing the Xinjiang Police Files – a group of documents hacked from Chinese law enforcement, which contain the faces of thousands of Uyghur detainees in China’s prison camps. Regarding the forced starvation of the Uyghurs, Zenz recently stated, “Uyghurs are in the face of what appear to be the depiction of utter desperation and even death amid a ruthless Covid lockdown. Years of oppression left Uyghurs in the region utterly helpless.”
Adrian Zenz has called on the Uyghur diaspora to create an OSINT (Open Source Intelligence Team) in order to geolocate, transcribe, triangulate, and verify these Douyin videos released from East Turkestan.
He stated, “This atrocity will have no end, and such work (the creation of an OSINT team by the Uyghur diaspora) should be planned as a longhaul strategy.”