AAS statement on Xinjiang detentions (1)

The AAS statement on Xinjiang is an excellent statement, but in my view still does not go far enough.

We should decry the mass detentions, including how the Chinese state targets the cultural elite of the Uighurs, Kazakhs, etc., with mass arrests of academics, artists, poets, and so on. But, the wholesale targeting of ethnic culture and language, means that this is now much bigger than even the up to 2 million people locked away in the concentration camps system.

Millions more face a concerted forced-assimilation campaign of which the detentions is a part: They are forced to denounce and abandon their culture and adopt Chinese ways, break food taboos, go into forced marriages, to stop speaking their own language (as mentioned below), and many children are taken and sent to Chinese -only ‘orphanages’ while parents are in camps. The list goes on.

Taken together, this Chinese government campaign is now a genocide directed against the muslim ethnicities of Xinjiang.

The campaign already clearly meets all five subdefinitions of the Geneva convention against genocide, as spelled out in its Article II:


“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:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

–Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

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