Mar 9, 2021 - World

Report: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

 This photo taken on June 2, 2019 shows what's believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region.

The scene in 2019 of a site believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have breached "each and every act prohibited" under the UN Genocide Convention over the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province, an independent report published Tuesday alleges.

Why it matters: D.C. think-tank the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which released the report, said in a statement the conclusions by dozens of experts in war crimes, human rights and international law are "clear and convincing": The ruling Chinese Communist Party bears responsibility.

  • It's the first time a non-governmental group has conducted independent legal analysis of the genocide allegations in Xinjiang, "including what responsibility Beijing may bear for the alleged crimes," notes CNN, which first obtained a copy of the report.

The big picture: Up to 2 million Uyghurs are estimated to be detained in the province's mass internment camps. Chinese authorities deny any rights abuses have been committed and claim the camps are used to root out extremism.

  • But there's evidence to support allegations of torture, forced sterilization and other abuses, with which this new report concurs.
  • Investigations show Chinese authorities have had a "vast string of factories" inside the camps constructed, and they're and forcing detainees to work in cotton fields, per Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.

What they found: "China's policies and practices targeting Uyghurs in the region must be viewed in their totality, which amounts to an intent to destroy the Uyghurs as a group, in whole or in part," the report states.

  • It finds that Uyghur detainees within the detention sites are "systematically tortured, subjected to sexual violence, including rape, and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment, deprived of their basic human needs, and severely humiliated."
  • They're deprived of basic human needs, "severely humiliated and subjected to inhumane treatment or punishment, including solitary confinement without food for prolonged periods," according to the report.
"Suicides have become so pervasive that detainees must wear 'suicide safe' uniforms and are denied access to materials susceptible to causing self-harm."

Of note: Governments including the U.S. have denounced the treatment of the people inside the camps as "genocide" and "crimes against humanity."

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) last December declined to investigate allegations of genocide against Uyghurs, but it left the file open. That means more evidence can be submitted on the claims and the ICC could still open an investigation.

Read the full report, via DocumentCloud:

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