'Evidence' of Muslims being suppressed 'utter nonsense', Xinjiang officials say

The so-called evidence of China violently suppressing Muslims and arresting a large number of people from certain ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region filed by "East Turkestan" organizations to the International Criminal Court are completely fabricated and "utter nonsense", Xinjiang officials said.

The "East Turkestan government-in-exile" that aims to separate Xinjiang from China has teamed up with the "East Turkestan National Awakening Movement" to spread false information through every means to confuse the public, poison public opinion and bring shame on Xinjiang, Ekbel Adar, deputy director of the committee of ethnic, religious, foreign and overseas Chinese affairs of the Xinjiang regional people's congress standing committee, said at a news conference held in the regional capital of Urumqi on Wednesday evening.

In July, the two organizations presented so-called evidence to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, and called on the court to investigate cases of so-called genocide and crimes against humanity.

"The organizations once again aim to stir up trouble. The farce of the so-called litigation is boring and extremely clumsy," Ekbel said. "They have gone farther and farther down the shameless road, trying to show the whole world their ugly images."

Due to the penetration of religious extremism, the region had been frequently hit by terrorist attacks for a period of time. As a result, the region has implemented a series of anti-terrorism and anti-extremism measures in recent years.

"Anti-terrorism and anti-extremism measures in Xinjiang are backed by a clear legal basis and legal procedures. Those measures have never targeted any specific region, ethnic group or religion, so there is no 'suppression of Muslims' or 'mass detention of people from certain ethnic groups' at all," Ekbel added.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent announcement to remove the East Turkestan Islamic Movement from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations disregards the bloody crimes committed by the group and has undermined international anti-terrorism cooperation. It has fully unveiled the US "double standard" on anti-terrorism issues, Ilijan Anayt, spokesman for the regional government, said at the news conference.

The ETIM was designated a terrorist organization and added to the sanctions list under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1390 in 2002.

For a long time, the ETIM, with the purpose of separating Xinjiang from China, has spread violent terrorist thoughts in the guise of religion and has instigated, planned and implemented a series of violent terrorist activities, greatly harming people's lives and property. It has released a large number of violent terrorist audio recordings and videos on the internet, has incited extremists to commit violent terrorist attacks and has given instructions on how to carry out such attacks, Ilijan said.

"The most violent terrorist cases in China are directly related to the ETIM and the violent terrorist audio recordings and videos they have released. Almost all the personnel involved have watched or listened to those recordings and videos," Ilijan said. "The ETIM is part of the international terrorism system and threatens both China and the whole world."

Xinjiang will not waver in its determination to crack down on the ETIM and other terrorist forces, safeguard the lives and property of people of all ethnic groups and protect social stability and national unity. Any attempt to undermine the stability and development of Xinjiang will not succeed, the spokesman said.