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East Turkistan Government in Exile urgently calls on US Senate to pass Uyghur Policy Act without delay

Representative Image (Photo: Reuters)

The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) urgently called on the US Senate to pass the Uyghur Policy Act without delay to establish a Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues within the US State Department. The East Turkistani people have been advocating for such a position since 1997, seeking parity with Tibet in US policy.

On February 20, 2024, the ETGE, leading a coalition of 60 East Turkistani and Uyghur organizations from across the diaspora, submitted a joint letter to Congress urging it to recognize East Turkistan as an occupied country enduring Chinese colonization and calling for the swift passage of the Uyghur Policy Act, read ETGE press release.

“We urge the US Senate to act swiftly and decisively. The Uyghur Policy Act is not just a piece of legislation; it is a lifeline for millions suffering under China’s brutal occupation in East Turkistan,” stated the ETGE Minister for Foreign Affairs and Security, Salih Hudayar.

The recent passage of the Resolve Tibet Act by the US Senate has brought hope to both Tibetans and East Turkistanis. However, there remains a clear inconsistency in US policy between its stance on East Turkistan and Tibet.

In addition to the passage of the Uyghur Policy Act, the ETGE called on Congress to swiftly introduce and pass a Resolve East Turkistan Act, similar to the Resolve Tibet Act. Such legislation would reinforce the US commitment to addressing the root causes of the humanitarian crisis in East Turkistan and support the East Turkistani people’s pursuit of justice and external self-determination.

The ETGE is also called on the US to counter disinformation about East Turkistan propagated by the Chinese government and the CCP. This includes correcting historical narratives and using the native name East Turkistan instead of the Chinese colonial term “Xinjiang (New Territory or Colony)”.

The urgency of addressing the root cause of the ongoing Uyghur Genocide in East Turkistan cannot be overstated. Chinese colonization and occupation are at the heart of this crisis. The ETGE urged Congress to introduce and adopt a resolution recognizing East Turkistan’s status as an occupied country, similar to US policy regarding Tibet.

“The US Congress has a historic opportunity to lead the international community in standing up for justice, human rights, and self-determination. By passing the Uyghur Policy Act and recognizing East Turkistan’s plight, they can help end the ongoing Uyghur Genocide and support our quest for freedom and self-determination in line with the existing US policies like the Captive Nations Law,” said Dr Mamtimin Ala, President of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.

The East Turkistan Government in Exile remains committed to advocating for the rights and freedoms of the East Turkistani people and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure their voices are heard and their plight addressed on the global stage.