London and Washington expressed their indignation on Thursday after the broadcast of an investigation by the BBC reporting acts of torture and sexual violence against women from the Uyghur Muslim minority in Chinese camps.
In a lengthy investigation based on testimony, the BBC on Wednesday reported allegations of systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture, including rape with electrified batons, of women detained in the Xinjiang region of China. western China where Uyghurs are the main ethnic group.
The women were victims of gang rape and forced sterilization, witnesses say.
“These atrocities must have consequences”
British Foreign Secretary Nigel Adams said the BBC report revealed “clearly heinous acts”. “The evidence of the scale and gravity of these violations is now far-reaching, it paints a truly atrocious picture,” he told the British Parliament.
Same indignation in the United States. “These atrocities strike conscience and must have serious consequences,” said a spokesperson for the US State Department, reiterating the view of the old and the new US administration that China is in the process of perpetrate “genocide” against the Uyghurs. “We will look at all the appropriate tools to hold those responsible to account and deter future abuse,” the spokesperson said.
The investigation also sparked outrage among Australian politicians and prompted further calls for China to allow UN inspectors to visit Xinjiang.
These reactions come as a “people’s court” has formed to examine allegations against China of anti-Uyghur brutality. It was formed at the request of Dolkun Isa, president of the Uyghur World Congress, and it is chaired by the British Geoffrey Nice, former prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICT) for the former Yugoslavia.
Its eight jurors intend to hear from more than 30 witnesses, mostly Uyghurs who accuse China of violence, and experts in international law. Two rounds of hearings will be held in London in May and September, before a decision expected by the end of the year on whether China is guilty of genocide or crimes against humanity.
The Chinese Embassy in London has been invited to participate but has not given a response. “We hope to persuade them that it is really in their interest to provide us with information for our investigation,” Geoffrey Nice told reporters.
Over a million Uyghurs detained
Another independent tribunal led by the Briton concluded last year that China continued to harvest organs from prisoners, including Uyghurs and members of the banned Falungong movement, despite official denials.
According to experts, more than a million Uyghurs are or have been detained in political re-education camps in Xinjiang. This vast semi-desert region, bordering in particular with Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been placed under close police surveillance since a series of deadly attacks committed in China and attributed to Uyghur separatists and Islamists.
Beijing rejects the term “camps” and asserts that they are vocational training centers, intended to provide employment to the population and therefore to distance them from religious extremism.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr