PRESS RELEASE: WUC WELCOMES UYGHUR TRIBUNAL JUDGEMENT CONFIRMING UYGHUR GENOCIDE
Press Release- For immediate release
09 December, 2021
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]
On behalf of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic people in East Turkistan, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) welcomes with great encouragement the final judgement of the Uyghur 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. This is another urgent reminder for the UN and all State parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligation under international law to stop this ongoing genocide as well as hold accountable those who are responsible for these crimes.”
In June 2020, WUC President Dolkun Isa formally requested Sir Geoffrey Nice QC to establish and chair an independent people’s tribunal to investigate “ongoing atrocities and possible Genocide” against the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic Muslim Populations in East Turkistan. The Uyghur Tribunal was launched on 3 September 2020, and has continued to receive support from the WUC throughout its establishment and operation.
Hearings were held in June, September, and November 2021, during which the Tribunal’s expert panel reviewed over 500 witnesses statements and heard live evidence from more than 30 witnesses about their experiences of China’s oppressive policies and its concentration camp system, as well as from 40 expert witnesses. The judgement is based on an evidence database consisting in hundreds of thousands of pages of documents on the situation in East Turkistan. A large majority of witnesses highlighted the systematic torture and rape in the internment camps, forced labour, forced sterilization and abortions of Uyghur women, and the surveillance system in place in the region. These accounts were further corroborated by over three dozen expert witnesses, who detailed their research and investigations which helped uncover the Chinese government’s crimes as well as the structure and the decision-making process of the Chinese Communist Party, which proved the genocidal intention crucial to a genocide finding.
As such, the amassed documentation and judgement of the Tribunal adds to the mounting evidence of the atrocity crimes committed by the Chinese authorities. In May of this year, the Essex Court Chambers published an authoritative legal opinion which concluded “there is a very credible case that acts carried out by the Chinese government … amount to crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide. In July, dozens of experts concluded that “the People’s Republic of China is in breach of the Genocide Convention under international law.”
In light of today’s judgement, the World Uyghur Congress reiterates its calls upon the international community to take a strong stand against the Uyghur genocide. To today’s date, the United States, as well as seven parliaments in liberal democracies (Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Belgium, the Czech Republic and United States) have recognized China’s actions as constituting genocide and crimes against humanity and (a serious risk of) genocide, as noted by Belgian Parliament”). However, the vast majority of the state parties to the Genocide Convention, including the United Nations, have remained shamefully silent.
The independent judgement that underpins the crimes committed by the government of China is crucial for the creation of broader awareness, acknowledgment and action by the international community. It is now the responsibility of states, international institutions, but also companies and individuals in the private sector, to take steps to apply the Tribunal’s Judgement in their dealings with China. The World Uyghur Congress once again requests the United Nations to invoke Article 8 of the Genocide Convention to support the establishment of an independent UN mechanism to investigate and document these violations such as a Commission of Inquiry through the adoption of a Resolution.