RFA: CCP's response to Uyghur Tribunal

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Uyghur Tribunal in London
(Photo by AFP)

China Slams Second Session of Uyghur Tribunal Investigating Xinjiang Human Rights Abuses
Alim Seytoff

(Radio Free Asia—September 14, 2021) On September 9th, Radio Free Asia posted the following article regarding the CCP's reaction to the second session of the Uyghur Tribunal. The verdict of the Uyghur Tribunal will be released by the end of the year.

China has denounced the second round of a Uyghur Tribunal scheduled to begin [September 10th] in London to investigate whether the government’s alleged rights abuses targeting ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in its far-western Xinjiang region constitute genocide.

More than 30 witnesses and experts testified about torture, rape, and other human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) during the first set of hearings in early June. Uyghur exiles described forced abortions, arbitrary arrests, and forced labor, while international legal experts weighed in on the applicability of laws on genocide and other statutes.

Such evidence and other credible documentations of abuse have formed the basis of genocide accusations against Beijing laid by several Western governments and legislatures, including the United States.

The allegations, if proved, could implicate China in a campaign to deliberately destroy the Uyghurs, and constitute the commission of genocide as defined in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention of 1948.

The independent people’s tribunal was set up because it is not possible to bring China before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Though China has signed and ratified the Genocide Convention, it has entered a reservation against ICJ jurisdiction.

Though the London panel has no state backing and any judgments will be nonbinding on any government, it aims to galvanize international action to hold China accountable for the abuse.

Another group of witnesses and experts have been lined up to provide testimony during the second round of hearings on Sept. 10-13.

China has denied widespread and documented allegations that it has subjected Muslims living in the XUAR to severe rights abuses. As it did during the first session, Beijing has condemned the tribunal and smeared its participants ahead of the start of the second round.

Responding to a question about the Uyghur Tribunal at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian blasted the panel as a “kangaroo court” that “has nothing to do with law, justice or truth, and is just another farce staged to smear and attack Xinjiang.”

The Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim group estimated at more than 12 million people in the XUAR. China has held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a network of detention camps since 2017, though Beijing says the facilities are vocational training centers meant to deter religious extremism and terrorism.


In a report published in August, Zenz [Foreign Ministry spokesman for China] concluded that China’s plans to reduce the ethnic minority population may constitute genocide under the U.N. Genocide Convention by presenting empirical evidence that the Uyghurs are being destroyed as a people. 


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