Don’t forget the Yarkant Massacre

Abdurehim Gheni Uyghur

July 28th is a terrible and nightmarish day in modern Uyghur history. On this date July 28th, 2014 was the day of theYarkant Massacre, when the Chinese invaders carried out a planned, organized, deliberate, systematic and inhuman mass state-terror massacre against Uyghurs in the villages of Elishku town and Hangdi town in Yerkan County of East Turkestan.

Yarkant  was the capital city of  Yarkent Khanate, once a most mighty and powerful empire in Uyghur history to reign (1514-1694) which politically, economically, culturally, military success and education were highly developed, colorful and interesting.   

Just like history is replete with successes and failures, colorful and fascinating with miracles and tragedies, the record of Yarkent is not without its share.

July 28, 2014 was in the last days of Ramadan. Since the Uyghur Muslim people pray without sleeping at night on such special holy days, on this occasion more than 40 women gathered in the village of Elishku town in Yarkant County to worship, Ramadan and end the month of Ramadan in prayer.

The armed police forces of the Chinese government had prior knowledge of this gathering, as it was no secret, a religious event, and allowed it to take place and progress, while they secretly watched and amassed an assault force. The authorities were willing to let it happen so to set up and achieve the maximum effect of their evil goal of terror and suppression.

Go in and completely wipe out these women and the resistance one. This is the personal statement of Dongguan police station Officer (东关派出所)A###. << Source: Habibullah Izchi Bluestone Archive>>

The Chinese forces, consisting of armed police and military soldiers, completely surround the house where the women gathered, confine them and terrorize them, assault them removing their headscarves and long dresses, and target the reading of Mevlut Prayer. The husbands and families of the women strongly react to this action of force against their wives and mothers, which quickly leads to the use of deadly force by the troops. The people slowly gather and spontaneously form a protest against the abduction of the women by the Chinese forces.

After the initial massacre, the families of the martyrs went to the Elishku town police station with their loved ones’ bodies to demand an answer to the massacre according to Chinese law. The police response, who are the source of the evil, fired upon the people in broad daylight. The people of the country, who would not tolerate this injustice and atrocity, protested in the marketplace to express their anger. The invader Chinese government, seeing this protest more as an insult to itself, initiated an unconscionable show of force to terrorize people; deployed tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters and drones in the sky, and the military and armed police, conducted a general bloody suppression and massacre in several villages: Elishku town, Hangdi town

, Dongbagh town, Kosh’erik town, and other villages. According to secondary data the Chinese government massacred at least 5,000 Uyghurs and arrested tens of thousands more.

Later, the Chinese government reported that only 96 Uyghur were killed and about 250 were arrested. In reality, these numbers were to deceive the international community. Unknown are the Uyghurs who survived the massacre but were arrested and killed in prisons, or sentenced to indefinite or long years of imprisonment, or just disappeared. All the villages where protests erupted were completely evacuated, and it took nearly a week to dispose of the bodies of the martyrs. It is completely perverse for the invader Chinese government to announce the number of deaths and orphans at less than a hundred. This is intentional disinformation for political purposes and evidence that the Chinese government lies to cover up their crimes; one of the 36 tricks. Another disgusting act of the Chinese government in the Yarkant massacre is that, despite the huge bloodshed and incalculable costs paid by the Muslim Uyghurs, the Chinese government used its media to portray the Uyghurs as violent terrorists and religious extremists to the Chinese-at-large and the international community. Since the end of that year, 2014, the Chinese government has justified camps, and any other label they attach to it, to be built all over East Turkestan, paving the way for the genocide that continues to this day.

On July 28, 2016, Central Germany’s “Organization for the Protection of Endangered Nationalities” released a report titled “Two Years of the Yarkant Holocaust,” and compared the June 4, 1989, “Tiananmen Incident” in Beijing to July 28, 2014. The ” Elishku Massacre” was compared in detail. The report said: “What the Tiananmen incident means to the Chinese people, the massacre of Elishku means the same to the Uyghurs.”

Although the countries of the world remained silent when the Yarkant massacre happened, even now, they do not ask the Chinese government to account for the massacre. The Uyghur nation, who loved Uyghur, never willing to kneel, will never forget their innocent brothers and sisters who were martyred in the massacre. The Uyghur people believe that the Chinese government will pay the price for their crimes and that justice will be done served one by one. Undoubtedly, all people on the planet who have not lost their moral conscience, whose sense of truth and humanity have not died, will one day support the righteous cause of the Uyghurs. The Uyghur nation believes with absolute certainty that the Chinese state will soon fail or be overthrown and the Uyghurs will regain their independence, just as the nations under their colonial rule gained independence after the fascist and communist countries failed or were overthrown in the last century. This is because, in the 5th and 6th verses of Surah al-Inshirah, the Holy ALLAH Prophet repeats that after every difficulty there is an ease.

After the July 5th, 2009 Urumqi Massacre, which was carried out by the Chinese government, Yarkant Massacre was one of the other brutal massacres that Uyghurs have suffered. Therefore, the Uyghurs in the Diaspora will never forget this massacre and will not allow history to forget or be rewritten, as they hold protests all over the world on July 28th, which are evidence, fact and proof of the bloodshed and tyranny of the Chinese government.

Posted on July 25, 2022

Translated: Gulfiye