UHRP Praises Path-breaking Uyghur Tribunal
For Immediate Release
June 7, 2021, 5:26 p.m. EDT
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795
The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), after hearing exhaustive evidence presented to the Uyghur Tribunal from June 4–7, commends the bravery of the witnesses, and urges the international community to carefully consider its findings.
“These hearings represent a real milestone for the Uyghur people,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “Governments will have to carefully consider the findings of the Tribunal, and will have no excuse to remain silent.”
The Uyghur Tribunal was launched on September 3, 2020 as an independent people’s tribunal, and is the first to investigate ongoing atrocities and possible genocide against the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic peoples in China.
From June 4–7, the Tribunal heard testimony from witnesses, experts, researchers, and advocates, who provided detailed testimony as to the situation on the ground in East Turkistan, and the abuses perpetrated against the Uyghur people.
At the hearings, experts described abuses within the camp system and across the Uyghur Region, including torture, sexual abuse, child separation, coercive birth control, forced labor, and the destruction of religious practice and cultural heritage.
Witnesses recounted harrowing experiences detained within the camp system, including torture and other abuses, as well as attempts by the Chinese government to forcibly assimilate Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.
Tribunal Chair Sir Geoffrey Nice explained 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.”
Some governments have demonstrated a willingness to consider evidence of atrocities, make determinations, or call on Chinese authorities to halt their abuse of Uyghurs, but international bodies and courts have so far been reluctant to formally assess the evidence.
The Tribunal will hear a second set of witnesses from September 10–13, 2021.