A blog post by Christina Stewart, Junior Associate.
The Chinese Government is conducting a direct cultural annihilation—an extermination campaign and dilution of culture and identity—against the Uyghurs, an ethnic-minority group native to Xinjiang, China, and other Turkic people in the region. Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities face egregious human rights violations, the likes of which are eerily reminiscent of the Holocaust: torture through electrocution, systematic rape, organ harvesting, forced consumption of pork and alcohol which violates their religious beliefs, forced sterilizations, mass internment camps, censorship, disappearances, and the list goes on. Without question, this campaign constitutes gross violations of international law and an existential threat to the international community.
2017 and 2018 internal documents from Xinyuan County’s justice system, a county located in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, detailed a plan to transform “key groups” through education— which really means indoctrinating the Uyghurs. One leaked document specifically listed the education process as “washing brains, cleansing hearts, strengthening righteousness and eliminating evil.” The order to indoctrinate and “educate” Uyghurs came directly from China’s President, Xi Jinping, following a 2014 terrorist attack by Uyghur separatists. The imagined threat of the so-called ideological virus of the Uyghurs created a sense of insecurity among the CCP. Grappled with the paranoia of dissenters speaking out, leaders in the CCP determined that China must be purged of them. The only way to purge them is to segregate them and subject them to re-education. The establishment of internment camps became justifiable; it became a necessity. This was China’s solution to the Uyghurs and all ethnic minorities: they needed to be cured of their ideological virus. The same mindset continues today.
 Emma Schoenberger, Complaint Filed in ICC Regarding Alleged Human Rights Abuses against Uyghur Population, Am. Soc’y of Int’l L. (July 13, 2020, 3:16 PM), https://www.asil.org/ILIB/complaint-filed-icc-regarding-alleged-human-rights-abuses-against-uyghur-population.
 Matthew Hill et al., ‘Their goal is to destroy everyone’: Uighur camp detainees allege systematic rape, BBC News (Feb. 2, 2021), https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-55794071.
 Jeremy Page et al., Xinjian Separatists Said to be Behind Attack at Train Station, Wall St. J. (Mar. 2, 2014, 7:40 PM), https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304071004579414243691552578 (“[Xi Jinping] … directed local officials to respond with ‘absolutely no mercy.’”).
 Mamtimin Ala, China’s Use of Psychological Warfare Against Uyghurs, Foreign Pol’y J. (Sept. 21, 2018), https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2018/09/21/chinas-use-of-psychological-warfare-against-uyghurs/.