The UK House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously voted to recognize abuse against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwestern China, in part policy of genocide and crimes against humanity, becomes the third global legislature to do so.
The historic vote marked the first time a proposal to declare genocide was passed without being passed in the British parliament and followed by similar US government genocide designations, as well. like lawmakers in Canada and the Netherlands.
Authorities in XUAR are believed to have detained as many as 1.8 million Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in a large network of detention centers since early 2017. While Beijing was initially covered Given the existence of these camps, China in 2019 changed its strategy and began to describe facilities as “Boarding Schools” that provided vocational training for the Uyghurs, discouraging the process of radicalization and help protect the country from terrorism.
But the RFA and other media reports indicated that people in detention centers were against their will and subjected to political manipulation, often faced with brutal mistreatment. hands of their supervisors and endure poor diet and unhygienic conditions in frequently overcrowded facilities. Former detainees have also described torture, rape, sterilization, and other mistreatment while in detention.
The IPAC said Thursday’s debate movement was led by Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani, a member of the Multi-Party Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), and received support from all opposing parties. Big setup, the IPAC said in a statement. The petition calls on the UK government to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Genocide Convention and to use “all relevant tools of international law” to end abuse. Uyghurs.
“Today Congress spoke with one voice and called for the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal suppression of the Uighurs: a crime of genocide,” Ghani said.
“Work doesn’t stop here. Under the Genocide Convention, we have a serious obligation to act to prevent further atrocities. History won’t judge us properly if we don’t.
Ghani said that the UK can no longer conduct “business as usual” with China in the context of a breach of rights in XUAR, adding that the government must conduct due diligence on the supply chains to ensure they are not tied to forced labor in the area.
As international monitoring of the situation in XUAR grows, Beijing increasingly “graduated” people arrested to work largely under forced labor, usually in the cotton sector. key areas. In recent days and weeks, well-known brands such as Nike, H&M and Adidas have pledged to publicly stop supplying cotton from XUAR, after which they are publicly threatened by the Chinese government and become the target of a boycott. of people all over China.
“The British government must ensure that it will not pursue a deeper commercial or investment relationship with China until their government ends the persecution of the Uighurs and lifts sanctions on the Uighurs. to your MPs, ”Ghani said.
Follow words with ‘meaningful action’
Thursday’s vote was also welcomed by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio, vice chair of the US Senate Selection Committee on Intelligence. The two lawmakers are also co-chairs of the IPAC.
“Today, the British Parliament has illuminated the serious abuses that the Chinese state has inflicted on the Uyghurs,” Menendez said.
“We owe the victims of this genocide to call for the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal persecution of the Uighurs. The free world must unite in forcing the Chinese government to take responsibility for these abuses ”.
Rubio added that the world “cannot stand still while these horrible abuses continue” and urged like-minded countries in the world to “hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for my action ”.
Rahima Mahmut, director of the exile group of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and advisor to the IPAC, called the vote “a huge win for all who noticed the behavior. abuse this for many years. ”
“The declarations of solidarity mean a lot, but the Uyghurs need them to be followed by meaningful action,” she said.
“Only when the Chinese government is faced with the consequences of its actions can it prevent further abuse. The Chinese government cannot be allowed to continue carrying out crimes against humanity and genocide without being punished.
The upcoming debates
WUC President Dolkun Isa told RFA’s Uyghur Service that the decision unanimously marked “another historic day for the Uyghurs” and expressed gratitude for the support.
“Today’s recognition helps pave the way for the freedom of millions of Uighurs languishing in China’s concentration camps,” he said. “This recognition not only gives hope to the Uyghur people, but also encourages other governments to recognize genocide in the 21st century.”
In a statement, the WUC urged other governments to “follow suit” and make specific efforts towards the legal identification of crimes against the Uyghurs and other Muslims in the XUAR.
Next week, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Parliament plans to contest a resolution proposed by IPAC member Delmastro delle Vedove condemning acts of abuse of the Uyghurs, while a move by IPAC member Samuel. Cogolati took the lead, viewing the Chinese government’s actions in XUAR as genocide that was brought in the Belgian parliament, the IPAC said.
IPAC members Margarete Bause and Gyde Jensen will lead a public hearing on the XUAR genocide claims in the German House of Representatives next month.
Reported by RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translation of Alim Seytoff. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.