China’s repression of the Uighurs began 10 years ago. Now their survival is at stake.

Carl Gershman is president of the National Endowment for Democracy.

The violent suppression 10 years ago on July 5 of a protest march in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in western China, was a pivotal moment in the struggle of the Uighur people to defend their rights. For the Uighurs, the crackdown meant the end of any hope that the Chinese authorities might heed their call to redress mounting grievances over economic marginalization and political and cultural repression. And for the Chinese government, it signaled the urgent need to intensify repression of the Muslim Uighur minority, which it justifies in the name of fighting terrorism.

Read the full op/ed in the Washington Post.