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Tribunal says China committed genocide against Uyghur Muslims

The UK-based independent Tribunal said that torture of Uyghurs attributable to China is established beyond reasonable doubt

Thursday December 9, 2021 11:20 PM, Sanjeev Sharma, IANS

China Muslims

New Delhi: The Uyghur Tribunal said on Wednesday that China by the imposition of measures to prevent births intended to destroy a significant part of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang as such, has committed genocide.

The UK-based independent Tribunal said that torture of Uyghurs attributable to China is established beyond reasonable doubt.

The Tribunal said crimes against humanity attributable to the People's Republic of China (PRC) is established beyond reasonable doubt by acts of:

Deportation or forcible transfer; imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty; torture; rape and other sexual violence; enforced sterilisation; persecution; enforced disappearance; and other inhumane acts.

The Tribunal is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that the crime against humanity of other inhumane acts is proved.

Satellite imagery identified the destruction of, or damage to, approximately 16,000 mosques or 65 per cent of the previous total in the region, evidence matched by direct observations of witnesses.


In addition, cemeteries and other sites of religious significance have been destroyed. Uyghurs are punished by imprisonment and torture for displays of religious adherence, including attending mosques, praying, wearing of headscarves and beards and not drinking alcohol or not eating pork.

The Tribunal is satisfied that the PRC has implemented a comprehensive policy of destruction of physical religious sites, and conducted a systematic attack on Uyghur religiosity for the stated purpose of eradicating religious ‘extremism'.

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The Tribunal received evidence which it could include within this category including the forcible imposition of Han people into Uyghur family homes, the pervasive surveillance systems installed throughout the region, rendering it an open-air prison, destruction of mosques and cemeteries, repression of religious and cultural expression and forced or coerced marriages.

The number of Uyghurs detained, the number of mosques and graveyards destroyed or rendered unfit for purpose, the sterilisations and abortions, the repression of use of language and practice of religion, the separation of Uyghur children from their parents all show that there was, indeed, an attack on the Uyghurs wholly without justification, even if some of them had sought separation from China and even if some Uyghurs had perpetrated acts of violence, as happened by way of example as in the years 1997 to 2000 and later Urumchi in 2000 and in the Kunming train attack of 2014.

Also Read | Sinicization of Islam bringing stability in Xinjiang, must continue: Xi

Between 2017 and 2019, Chinese government figures record a 43.5 per cent increase to 880,400 primary and middle Uyghur school children being placed in Han-run and Han-staffed boarding schools. This policy was, according to the Xinjiang Education Department, deliberately designed to isolate children from the influences of their families.

Parents have been unable to resist the policy and involuntary separation has been widespread, in part because some families have suffered the internment of one or both parents.

The Tribunal is satisfied that China 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.

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The Tribunal is satisfied that the PRC has affected a deliberate, systematic and concerted policy with the objective of ‘optimising' the population in Xinjiang by means of a long-term reduction of the Uyghur and other ethnic minority populations to be achieved through limiting and reducing Uyghur births.

The tribunal has received evidence, including by means of satellite imagery of the construction or conversion of hundreds of very large factories, in some cases co-located with internment camps. According to state media, hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs have been inducted into labour programmes, including 611,500 in Hotan alone in 2018. The transfers have been within the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and also into ‘mainland' China.

The Tribunal is satisfied that China has built a very extensive network of detention and penal institutions, that it has imprisoned hundreds of thousands and maybe a million and more of Uyghurs without substantive cause and without any recognisable or legitimate legal process.

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