UHRP encouraged by UK parliament motion recognizing genocide, calls on governments to respond accordingly

Nus Ghani_2021-04-22

April 22, 2021, 1:21 p.m. EDT
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) commends the motion passed by the UK Parliament to recognize that the Chinese government is carrying out genocide against Uyghurs, and calls on the UN and governments to take action without delay.

“China’s atrocity crimes demand a worldwide response. Uyghurs thank UK parliamentarians for this historic vote,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has an obligation to respond to the will of the parliament.” 

The motion was brought forward by MP Nur Ghani, who stated, “This House believes that Uyghurs […] are suffering crimes against humanity and genocide, and calls on the government to act to fulfill their obligations under the [Genocide Convention] and all relevant instruments of international law to bring it to an end.”

MP Ghani also noted that “the work does not stop here. We have a solemn obligation under the Genocide Convention to act to prevent further atrocities from taking place. History will not judge us kindly if we fail to do so.”

The UK government must develop a plan of action to follow up on the vote, including additional sanctions to follow up on the historic coordinated sanctions imposed on senior PRC officials and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau on March 22. The UK should also  encourage allies to make similar designations and work with like-minded countries to initiate a commission of inquiry through the UN Human Rights Council and urge the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to initiate monitoring over the situation.

The UK should also impose additional sanctions, following up on the historic coordinated sanctions imposed on PRC officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau on March 22. 

The vote is consistent with the position of 50 genocide and atrocity prevention organizations and senior experts, who reissused a joint open letter with UHRP in January. They found that measures targeting Uyghurs “meet the threshold of acts constitutive of genocide, core international crimes under the Genocide Convention . . .”

UHRP has compiled considerable evidence supporting this finding, including mass, arbitrary detention in violation of international law, the persecution of Uyghurs on racial and religious grounds, and widespread enforced disappearances. The destruction of countless Uyghur cultural sites and the use of forced or coercive labor have further underscored China’s genocidal intent.

Read more:

UHRP welcomes finding of Chinese State violations under “each and every act” of the Genocide Convention, March 9, 2021

UHRP hails coordinated sanctions over China’s atrocities, March 22, 2021

UHRP urges UN, governments to follow up on Canada’s historic Uyghur genocide vote, March 9, 2021

Authoritative legal opinion concludes that treatment of Uyghurs amounts to crimes against humanity and genocide, February 22, 2021

UHRP urges worldwide action in the wake of U.S. genocide finding, January 19, 2021

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

UHRP welcomes global action to address likely genocide, finally, July 8, 2020