(TibetanReview.net, Mar10’21) – An independent report by more than 50 global experts in international law, genocide and the China region have concluded in a report release on Mar 9 that the Chinese government’s alleged actions in Xinjiang had violated every single provision in the United Nations’ Genocide Convention.
Released by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy think tank in Washington DC, the report said the Chinese government “bears state responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uyghur in breach of the (UN) Genocide Convention.”
It is the first time a non-governmental organization has undertaken an independent legal analysis of the accusations of genocide in Xinjiang, including what responsibility Beijing may bear for the alleged crimes, said the edition.cnn.com Mar 10.
The report noted that despite China’s denials, up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities were believed to have been placed in a sprawling network of detention centers across the Xinjiang region, citing the US State Department. Former detainees have alleged they were subjected to indoctrination, sexually abused and even forcibly sterilized.
Earlier, on Jan 19, the outgoing Trump administration declared the Chinese government was committing genocide in Xinjiang. A month later, the Dutch and Canadian parliaments passed similar motions despite opposition from their leaders.
The four-page UN Genocide Convention was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in Dec 1948 and has a clear definition of what constitutes “genocide.” China is a signatory to the convention, along with 151 other countries, the report noted.
Despite overwhelming evidences, China has denied the allegations, claiming it only had the best interest of the Xinjiang people in mind.
Speaking at a press conference on Mar 7, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi claimed that the allegations of a genocide in Xinjiang “couldn’t be more preposterous.”
Whatever may be the case, any establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal would require the approval of the UN Security Council, of which China is a permanent member with veto power, making any hearing on the allegations of genocide in Xinjiang unlikely, the report noted.
While violating just one act in the Genocide Convention would constitute a finding of genocide, the Newlines report said the Chinese government had fulfilled all criteria with its actions in Xinjiang.
Yonah Diamond, legal counsel at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, who worked on the report, has sought to dispel public misunderstanding about the definition of genocide, that it required evidence of mass killing or a physical extermination of a people.
“The real question is, is there enough evidence to show that there is an intent to destroy the group as such – and this is what this report lays bare,” he has said.
Meanwhile China’s official globaltimes.cn said Mar 9 that a number of companies and individuals in Xinjiang had sued German scholar Adrian Zenz, who had reported on the forced labour system in Xijnjiang. They have accused him of spreading rumors and causing reputational and economic losses for locals.
The civil lawsuits have been filed at a local court in Xinjiang, demanding that Zenz apologize, restore their reputation and compensate for their losses “as his fake reports caused some countries and companies to suspend cotton imports from Xinjiang.”
But Zenz’s report has been confirmed by UN rights experts and a number of governments and parliaments of democratic countries which have called on China to end the system.