The designation of East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist organisation was used by China as a pretense for the genocide of the Uyghurs and people have been falsely linked to the ETIM movement for expressing their ethnic identity and religious beliefs, according to the human rights group Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU).
While lauding US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision to revoke the designation of ETIM from its terrorist list, CFU said in a statement that "the integrity of this decision speaks volumes, and as the leadership of the Chinese regime has changed to a softer tone as it tries to suck up to what it views as the sure next US administration." This statement comes after the US government's decision to remove ETIM from its terrorist list after nearly two decades that has led to the weakening of China's anti-terror pretext for a draconian crackdown on Uyghurs in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Pompeo announced that the group had been removed from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, according to an order issued on October 20 made public on Thursday.
Reacting to the latest development, CFU said, "...it is absolutely clear that despite any domestic political changes, the United States must continue with resolve on the same path to hold the Chinese regime accountable." It said previous designation could be viewed as direct kowtowing to Chinese authorities, and an action that lent legitimacy to the brutal lies that the regime perpetrated, harming millions.
It further said China cannot and should not be "trusted as an international ally again." "As the international community has watched it refuses to reform, refuse to treat other nations with fairness and transparency, and most notably, refused to treat human lives with the dignity that they deserve, it is our sincere hope that all will recognize the reality of how China has constructed its false narrative to paint an entire ethnic group as extremists while they have been merely seeking for decades to live with the freedom to practice their beliefs and live equally," CFU said.
CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas stated that "It is our hope that the new US administration will continue the vital work of taking the reins of control from this authoritarian monster. It must be recognized that the CCP has only continued its history of blatantly breaking promises while violating the human rights and conscience of the entire globe." The right group also said the United States must continue to stand as a true leader in the international community who stands for what is right and the values of humanity, necessary excluding the false "friendship" that China offers as a pretense for its terrors to continue.
The US move comes amid worldwide condemnation of China's policies in Xinjiang, where a large population of Muslim minorities is detained in re-education camps.
About seven per cent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang has been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts.
However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training. People in the internment camps have said they are subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings and denial of food and medicine, besides being prohibited from practicing their religion or speaking their language.