The below article was published by Christianity Daily, photo credit: Flickr
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM) have together compiled and submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court proving how China continues to capture and persecute Uyghurs who fled to other countries in an attempt to escape the CCP’s human rights abuses against the Muslim minorities. The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor received a “hefty dossier” of evidence on Thursday on behalf of the two groups showing how Uyghurs who escaped to Tajikistan have been repatriated back to China.
According to the Christian Post, a legal team acting on behalf of ETNAM had filed a complaint with the ICC in July 2020, urging them to launch an investigation on CCP officials for their treatment of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang province, which the group characterized as “genocide and crimes against humanity.” The ICC failed to address the complaint but with the new evidence filed, the lawyers believe that they and the Uyghurs they represent will finally be heard and that the Chinese government will be looked into by the ICC.
Nikita Bernardi, who leads public outreach to call on the ICC to investigate China’s human rights abuses against the Uyghurs, led a webinar on Monday, which was attended by the legal team and the leadership of the East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement. There, they discussed the “hefty dossier” of evidence that aims to “establish jurisdiction for the ICC over crimes committed by Chinese authorities against Uyghurs.”
During the webinar, a member of the legal team by the name of Rodney Dixon alleged that at least “85% to 90% of the Uyghur population” in Tajikistan were “targeted” by the Chinese and moved back to China. Dixon reported that the Chinese authorities ran a “very sophisticated and cunning campaign” to covertly bring back Uyghurs from Tajikistan to China, where they can be “targeted, controlled and persecuted.” He alleged that there were about a hundred more Uyghurs left in Tajikistan that were under control of Chinese operatives in a “toxic environment.”
While Dixon and the rest of the legal team kept mum on the evidence citing confidentiality, the U.K. Times reported that “Chinese Public Security Bureau operatives” in Tajikistan have raided several bazaars where Uyghurs often work. They collaborate with local Tajik police to detain Uyghurs and accuse them of lacking the necessary paperwork to be employed in Tajikistan. The filing revealed how an entire bazaar was raided by Chinese authorities who captured the Uyghurs in small groups of about 10 Uyghurs each “to avoid attention.” According to the report, the Chinese consulate in Tajikistan is also working to hinder Uyghurs from obtaining the necessary employment documentation to allow them to work there.
Reuters reported that outgoing ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda believed that the reports submitted last year did not warrant an investigation. The lawyers who filed the dossier are hoping for a change of heart in the incoming ICC prosecutor, British barrister Karim Khan, who will decide if the new evidence is weighty enough to launch an investigation. He takes office today.