Path-breaking Uyghur Tribunal Under Way in London

Uyghur Tribunal PR

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2021, 2:00 pm EDT 
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 816-0598, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Tribunal opened its second session today, hearing testimony from both witnesses and experts. The session continues through September 13, 2021 and is livestreamed here.

“The Party-state has effectively criminalized everyday life from the ground up” for Uyghurs, said UHRP staff member Dr. Elise Anderson in her testimony today. Dr. Anderson’s testimony highlights the findings of UHRP’s 2020 report, “Ideological Transformation”: Records of Mass Detention from Qaraqash, Hotan. The report analyzes a leaked Chinese government document revealing the Hotan government’s ground-level implementation of the mass surveillance detention program targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples. 

“The experts’ testimony is compelling. The Uyghur survivors’ eyewitness testimony is devastating. Anyone who hears it understands why governments must act,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. 

Dr. Anderson, UHRP Senior Program Officer for Research and Advocacy, testified that the Qaraqash Document (also known as the Karakax List) provides direct confirmation of the implementation of government policies and tools targeting Uyghurs, including the “Becoming Family” household surveillance program, the police profiling system known as the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), guilt by association, and criminalization of everyday activities.

UHRP staff member Peter C. Irwin, Senior Program Officer for Advocacy and Communications, will testify September 13. 

UHRP supports the Tribunal’s mission to review evidence in order to reach an impartial and considered judgment on whether international crimes are proved to have been committed by the PRC. UHRP has supported the Tribunal’s operations with financial assistance, submitting documented evidence, providing translation and interpretation services for Uyghur-speaking witnesses, and providing Uyghur-language interpretation of the Tribunal’s livestreamed proceedings.

The Uyghur Tribunal was launched on September 3, 2020 as an independent tribunal, and is the first formal commission organized to investigate ongoing atrocities against the Uyghurs and  other Turkic peoples in China.

During the first session June 4–7, the Tribunal heard detailed testimony regarding the situation on the ground in East Turkistan. Witnesses described abuses within the concentration camp system and across the Uyghur Region, including torture, sexual abuse, child separation, coercive birth control, and forced labor, as well as the destruction of religious practice and cultural heritage, and other policies to forcibly assimilate Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.

Tribunal Chair Sir Geoffrey Nice explained in June that the jurisdiction of such a body is “rooted in the obvious right of citizens to fill gaps or voids left by governments, international bodies and courts.”

Read More:

Uyghur Tribunal witness statements

UHRP Praises Path-breaking Uyghur Tribunal, June 7, 2021

China Perpetrating Transnational Repression of Uyghurs on Massive Scale, New Joint Report Reveals, June 24, 2021 

50 Genocide prevention organizations and experts call for UN Commission of Inquiry on crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs, January 14, 2021

“Ideological Transformation”: Records of Mass Detention from Qaraqash, Hotan, February 18, 2020