Lawyers for human rights present a case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an investigation of China’s treatment of Uyghurs.
According to the Associated Press, a group of human rights attorneys brought a case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday, requesting that the court investigate China’s treatment of Uyghurs based on witness testimony and investigations into nations such as Tajikistan.
According to the lawyers, the dossier proved that “Uyghurs have been targeted, gathered up, forcibly disappeared, and deported from Tajikistan” back into China’s western Xinjiang province “by Chinese operatives.”
They say that the ICC has jurisdiction over these measures because “Chinese authorities have directly engaged in Tajikistan,” and they urge the body to initiate an investigation “immediately.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
This is the latest attempt by international human rights lawyers to have an investigation investigate charges of atrocities against Uyghurs by China, which is not a member of the court.
The application aims to leverage the legal precedent set by the International Criminal Court’s investigation into claims of mass deportations and persecution of Rohingya people by Myanmar authorities, who drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a member of the court, but Myanmar is not.
A panel of ICC judges found in 2019 in the Rohingya case that the court “may exercise jurisdiction over crimes when part of the criminal conduct occurs on the territory of a State Party.”
Lawyers for exiled Uyghur activists petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) in July of last year to examine the forced repatriation of thousands of Uighurs from Cambodia and Tajikistan, as well as alleged genocide in Xinjiang.
Prosecutors for the International Criminal Court concluded in a December report that there was “no grounds to proceed at this time” with an investigation into the claims.
“It is apparent that the ICC does have jurisdiction to launch an investigation,” the lawyers said based on their findings.
According to academics, more than a million people, mostly Uyghurs, have been incarcerated in re-education camps in China’s western Xinjiang region in recent years. Forced labor, systematic forced birth control, torture, and the separation of children from jailed parents have all been charged of Chinese officials.
Beijing denies that it is guilty of any wrongdoing. Officials have described the camps, which they claim are now closed, as vocational training institutes where the Chinese are taught. This is a condensed version of the information.