Wednesday, June 29, 2022

China responsible for an ongoing genocide in Xinjiang, legal report says

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The Chinese government “bears state responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uyghur in breach of the (UN) Genocide Convention,” according to a report by a US-based non-partisan think-tank. 

The 25,000-word report finds that China has violated every single provision in the United Nations Genocide Convention and had the “intent to destroy” the Uighur minority population in China. 

The report that was created after all the “available evidence” was examined by “recognized independent experts on international law, genocide.” The evidence also includes thousands of eyewitness testimonies from Uyghur exiles and official Chinese government documents. The report says that the conclusions are “clear and convincing.”

Up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to have been placed in detention centers across the Xinjiang region. The former detainees allege they were subjected to indoctrination, sexual abuse and were even forcibly sterilized. 

According to the report, the detainees are subjected to “brutal torture methods” and undergo mass internment and government-sponsored programs “designed to indoctrinate and ‘wash clean’ brains.”​

The Genocide Convention was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948. It defines five acts that fall under the definition of genocide. These include: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Tuesday’s report by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy found that the Chinese Communist Party had violated all five of these provisions. The report also finds that the perpetrators of the acts of genocide were all part of the state machinery and were acting under orders from President Xi Jinping. 

“The persons and entities perpetrating the above-indicated acts of genocide are all state agents or organs – acting under the effective control of the state,” the report said.

Top government officials responded to Xi by issuing orders to “’round up everyone who should be rounded up,’ ‘wipe them out completely, destroy them root and branch,’ and ‘break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins.’”

The report goes on to explains that the “intent to destroy” provision of the act does not require explicit policies and laws from the Chinese government but can be attributed to “a pattern of conduct, and repeated destructive acts, which have a logical sequence and result — the destruction of the group as such, in whole or in substantial part.” 

On January 19, the Trump administration declared that the Chinese government was committing genocide in Xinjiang. The Dutch and Canadian parliaments also followed the U.S in passing similar motions against the Chinese government. 

China has repeatedly rejected any reports of a genocide in Xinjiang. The Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, in a fiery press conference on Sunday, called such reports “lies and fabrications.”

“The so-called ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang is ridiculously absurd. It is a rumor with ulterior motives and a complete lie,” he said.

The report by Newlines Institute is the first time a non-governmental organization has undertaken an independent legal analysis of the accusations of genocide in Xinjiang. However, the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal against China would require the approval of the UN Security Council. Since  China is a permanent member of the Council with veto power, any hearing on the allegations of genocide in Xinjiang is highly unlikely. 

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Rhonda Swan
Rhonda Swan
Rhonda Swan, Journalist at Peres Daily

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