For the first time, evidence has been submitted to the International Criminal Court asking for an investigation into claims of genocide and crimes against humanity committed by senior Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping for the mistreatment of Uighur Muslims and other Turkic people in Western China.
Lawyers this week submitted a complaint to the Hague-based court’s prosecutor’s office on behalf of the East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement.
This marks the first time that critics have attempted to use international laws to prosecute China for alleged human rights violations against minorities in China’s far northwestern territory of Xinjiang.
The ETGE is an official body that aims to end China’s occupation of the East Turkistan region. East Turkistan is a region known today as China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The People’s Republic of China incorporated the region after the fall of a Soviet-backed East Turkestan Republic in 1949.
Today, the Chinese government considers support for East Turkistan independence to be terrorism and extremism.
The new filing submitted to the ICC comes as there has been much outrage in recent years as estimates suggest that over 1 million to as many as 3 million Uighur Muslims and other and other minority groups in Western China have been subject to internment camps in Xinjiang,
Laid out in the complaint are evidence of crimes that have been committed in the region by the Chinese government since 1884, with the bulk of the complaints focusing on the increase in human rights crimes committed following the Urumqi riots that took place in July 2009, where members of the Turkic-speaking minority and Han Chinese were killed.
The government’s alleged crimes include those committed against the predominantly Muslim Uighur population, as well as Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples.
The alleged crimes include massacres, mass internment camps, torture, organ harvesting, disappearances, forced birth control and sterilization. The report also highlights the forcible transfer of children from their families to Chinese state orphanages or boarding homes.
The complaint also warns about government measures aimed at eliminating the use of the Uyghur and other Turkic languages in schools and the government’s use of increased surveillance to monitor those groups. The report contends that the level of surveillance those groups face goes beyond the surveillance experienced by China’s majority Han people group.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith