Uighurs charge China officials with ‘genocide’ at ICC

Lawyers have submitted a complaint to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), demanding that an investigation be opened into senior Chinese leaders for genocide and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed against the Uighurs and other Turkic peoples. The complaint was filed on behalf of the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM).

China is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, but the lawyers argue that the ICC can exercise jurisdiction over these crimes because part of the criminal conduct occurred within the territory of two signatory states—Tajikistan and Cambodia. The complaint asserts that Uighur victims have been unlawfully deported to the People’s Republic of China from Tajikistan and Cambodia. Upon return to China they have been subjected to crimes together with many other detained Uighurs, including murder, unlawful imprisonment, torture, forced sterilization, and forced marriages. (ETGE press release, July 6)

Photo: ETNAM

  1. China still expanding concentration camp system

    China has secretly built scores of massive new prison and internment camps in the past three years, dramatically escalating its campaign against Muslim minorities even as it publicly claimed the detainees had all been set free. The construction of these purpose-built, high-security camps—some capable of housing tens of thousands of people—signals a radical shift away from the country’s previous makeshift use of public buildings, like schools and retirement homes, to a vast and permanent infrastructure for mass detention.

    In the most extensive investigation of China’s internment camp system ever done using publicly available satellite images, coupled with dozens of interviews with former detainees, BuzzFeed News identified more than 260 structures built since 2017 and bearing the hallmarks of fortified detention compounds. There is at least one in nearly every county in the far-west region of Xinjiang. that time, the investigation shows, China has established a sprawling system to detain and incarcerate hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities, in what is already the largest-scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities since World War II.

    BuzzFeed News identified 268 newly built compounds by cross-referencing blanked-out areas on Baidu Maps (China’s equivalent of Google Maps) with images from external satellite data providers. These compounds often contained multiple detention facilities.

  2. China still expanding concentration camp system: again

    Researchers at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute found that Xinjiang authorities have been expanding a variety of detention sites since last year. Rather than being released, many detainees were likely sent to prisons and perhaps other facilities, the investigation found, citing satellite images of new and expanded detention sites. (NYT)