âThe court is convinced that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] affected a deliberate, systematic and concerted policy with the aim of so-called “optimizing” the population of Xinjiang through a long-term reduction of Uyghur populations and other ethnic minorities to be achieved by limiting and reducing births Uyghurs, âGeoffrey Nice, who presided over the tribunal, said Thursday while reading the verdict.
He added that the tribunal was “satisfied that President Xi Jinping, Chen Quanguo and other senior PRC and CCP officials [Chinese Communist Party] bear primary responsibility for acts committed in Xinjiang. “
While “the individual criminal acts that may have occurred, rape or torture, may not have been carried out with the detailed knowledge of the President and others, but the tribunal is convinced that they were committed. as a direct result of the politics, language and rhetoric promoted by President Xi and others and furthermore, these policies could not have happened in a country with such rigid hierarchies as the PRC without the implicit authority and explicit from the summit, âhe said.
The judgment follows a series of court hearings in London this year, in which a panel of jurors reviewed evidence and testimony.
The independent, non-governmental Uyghur Tribunal was founded in 2020 by Nice, a British lawyer and international human rights lawyer, at the request of Uyghur activists.
Nice was among several British individuals and entities sanctioned by the Chinese government in March this year in retaliation for British sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights violations in Xinjiang.
Chinese Ambassador to the UK Zheng Zeguang called the Uyghur court “political manipulation aimed at discrediting China.”
The Chinese Embassy in London on Thursday called the tribunal “a political tool used by some anti-Chinese elements to deceive and mislead the public. It is not a legal institution. Neither has it of legal authority “.
He added that the Xinjiang region “now enjoys economic progress, social stability and ethnic solidarity.” China will remain focused on the right course to take and on the path that suits its national reality â.
The US State Department estimates that as many as 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have passed through a vast network of detention centers across Xinjiang, where former detainees claim to have been subjected to political indoctrination intense, forced labor, torture and even sexual abuse.
Beijing vehemently denies the allegations of human rights violations, insisting that the camps are voluntary “vocational training centers” designed to eradicate religious extremism and terrorism.
In March, the United States, the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom announced sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights violations in Xinjiang. China responded almost immediately by imposing a series of tit-for-tat sanctions, as well as travel and business bans.
As the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing approach, international pressure on China’s treatment of Uyghurs is mounting, with activists calling for a boycott of the Games.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “human rights violations and problems in Xinjiang” were among the concerns raised by the Australian government with Beijing.