A HIGH-PROFILE Uyghur activist in the UK has called for the winner of the Conservative Party leadership election to recognise China’s treatment of Muslim minorities as genocide.
Over the past half-decade, numerous reports of mass human rights abuses against China’s Muslim minorities, including the Uyghurs, in the western Xinjiang province have been widely circulated.
This includes reports of mass-incarceration in internment camps, torture and forced sterilisation.
The Chinese government denies accusations of human rights abuses and claims the internment camps are educational facilitates.
But a UN report released this week found evidence that the human rights violations could amount to crimes against humanity.
In 2021, the UK Parliament voted to recognise China’s treatment of Uyghurs as a genocide – but the government itself is still yet to follow this recommendation despite acknowledging mass human rights abuses.
Rahima Mahumut, UK director of the World Uyghur Congress, called on the winner of the ongoing Conservative Party leadership contest to issue a recognition of genocide.
She said: “When you consider the speedy sanctions that were imposed on Russia and support for the Ukrainian people, the same kind of standard was not applied for what is happening to my people.”
“You don’t see the visual suffering of my people compared to what has been happening since the invasion of Ukraine, because of the graphic images and news reports. But that shouldn’t be an excuse.”
“Even the people not taken in these camps are living in the largest prison on earth. In their homes and when they go out, their every movement is watched. They are living in such a terrifying state of mind.”
Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have issued strong rhetoric around China, with Suank calling the country the “largest threat to Britain and the world’s security and prosperity this century.”
Truss, meanwhile the Times reported that Truss called for more Commonwealth trade in an effort to counter a “grave threat to our values and way of life” from China.
In January 2021, then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a recognition of China’s treatments of the Uyghurs as genocide.
A UK-based independent tribunal in December 2021 also found that China was committing genocide against the Uyghurs.
The tribunal was led by Sir Geoffrey Nice, who was involved with the prosecution of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević.
Rahima said: “Imagine if these countries recognised this as genocide and carried out their responsibilities under the genocide convention. There are a lot of actions that would follow that.
“However, no such thing has happened yet, so for this leadership election we are hoping that whoever becomes Prime Minister – the number one thing we want is for them to recognise this as genocide and accept the independent Uyghur Tribunal’s legal determination and act accordingly.”
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak were contacted for comment.
The Chinese embassy in London was also contacted for comment.
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