After a series of hearings that lasted several months, a London based independent tribunal has ruled that China committed ‘genocide’ against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang province. The Uyghur Tribunal declared the verdict after a panel of Britain-based lawyers and rights experts examined human rights violations in the Xinjiang region. Hearings were held in June, September, and November 2021, during which the Tribunal’s expert panel reviewed hundreds of witness statements and heard live evidence from more than 30 witnesses about their experiences of China’s oppressive policies, as well as from expert witnesses.
“The tribunal is satisfied that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) has affected a deliberate, systematic and concerted policy with the object of so-called ‘optimizing’ the population in Xinjiang by the means of a long-term reduction of Uyghur and other ethnic minority populations to be achieved through limiting and reducing Uyghur births,” Geoffrey Nice, who chaired the tribunal, said on Thursday. He added that the tribunal was “satisfied” that very senior officials in the PRC and CCP (Chinese Communist Party) bear primary responsibility for acts in Xinjiang.”
“The Tribunal is satisfied that the PRC has embarked on a deliberate policy of separating children from their families into state care for the purpose of eradicating their Uyghur cultural identity and connections,” it added. In a statement, the berlin-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC) welcomed the final judgement of the Tribunal, which announced today that the Chinese communist government’s atrocity crimes against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan amount to genocide and crimes against humanity.
“This is a historic day for the Uyghur people”, WUC President, Dolkun Isa said. “The verdict recognizing the Uyghur genocide by an independent body, which also provided the only venue for Uyghur and other survivors to speak and provide firsthand evidence to a quasi-judicial body, is a crucial step towards wider recognition by the international community.”
Earlier this year, the US became the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as “genocide”. In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide.
The latter became the first parliament in Europe to do so. In April, the United Kingdom also declared China’s ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a “genocide”.