The Hague, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Lawyers representing the Uyghur Muslim minority in exile submitted a complaint on Monday to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Beijing senior officials for alleged crimes against humanity.
According to the document delivered to the ICC in The Hague, victims have credible evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed Uyghur and Turkic people who were reportedly deported from occupied East Tajikistan and Cambodia to Sinkiang in northwest China.
“Upon return to China they have been subjected to crimes together with many other detained Uyghurs including murder, unlawful imprisonment, torture, forced birth control and sterilization, and forced marriages,” the complaint said.
“This has been a concerted and widespread campaign by the Chinese government to round up tens of thousands of Uyghurs abroad and those who have fled persecution, to force them back into occupied East Turkistan,” the document added.
According to the document, the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) considers East Turkistan (the region known as Xinjiang) to be a colony or occupied territory.
Despite China not being a signatory of the Rome Statute, the ICC can launch an investigation because crimes allegedly took place in both Tajikistan and Cambodia, both of which are states parties to the Rome Statute.
Lawyers representing the ETGE and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM) have focused on a particularly bloody period following the Urumqi massacre between 5 and 7 July 2009, eleven years ago today.
The alleged crimes against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples include massacres, mass internment camps, torture, disappearances, forced birth control and sterilization, measures to eliminate the use of indigenous languages and organ harvesting among others.
The report recounts brutal techniques used against the oppressed minority including some 500,000 Uyghur children being forcibly separated from their families and sent to Chinese state orphanages.
The complaint has been built on a precedent that occurred in November 2019, when the ICC authorized an investigation into Myanmar for alleged committed against tens of thousands of Rohingya minority Muslim people who were deported to Bangladesh.
“For too long it was assumed that nothing could be done by the world’s criminal court. There is now a clear legal pathway to justice for the millions of Uyghurs who are allegedly being persecuted on mass by the Chinese authorities. It is a breakthrough and momentous opportunity which we urge the ICC Prosecutor to pursue without delay. This chance should not be squandered,” lawyer Rodney Dixon, who heads the legal team that has released the report, said in a statement. EFE-EPA