IPAC parliamentarians call for genocide investigations in light of reports of torture and sexual abuse in Xinjiang prison camps

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A group of senior politicians representing the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China have issued a statement calling on their governments to lead investigations into alleged genocide and crimes against humanity taking place in the Xinjiang region. The move comes after a BBC report revealed systemic torture and sexual abuse against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other groups interned in Xinjiang’s prison camps. 

The statement, a full copy of which is below, has been signed by 32 parliamentarians representing 17 legislatures. Signatories include US Senators Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio, German Greens MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, former Japanese Defence Minister Rep. Gen Nakatani and Australian Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching. 

Sir Iain-Duncan Smith MP, IPAC co-chair and former leader of the UK Conservative Party, commented:

“Reports of torture, systemic rape and forced sterilization of detainees suggests the Chinese Communist Party is perpetrating a most barbaric and inhumane persecution of the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the region.” 

“Inaction from the international community only serves to condone this oppression. Our governments must demonstrate to the Chinese government the consequences of these continued abuses.”

“I call on UK government to accept calls to give UK High Courts the power to consider genocide cases, so that at long last the Uyghurs and others can have their day in court.”

Rahima Mahmut, Uyghur activist and advisor to IPAC, commented:

“These horrific accounts come as no surprise to those of us who have experienced first-hand the Chinese government’s brutal repression.

No one enters these prison camps and leaves the same. The scars of torture and sexual assault remain on the survivors of the prison camps long after their release. 

Governments across the world owe it to the survivors of these injustices to hold the Chinese government to account for this cruelty. The mounting evidence from personal testimonies, experts and even the Chinese government’s official documents reveals can no longer be ignored. 

There will be no healing until the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic and religious minorities persecuted by the Chinese government find justice for the barbaric crimes committed against them.”

André Gattolin, IPAC co-chair and French En Marche! Senator, commented:

“The Chinese government must be held to account for what has become one of the gravest human rights crises globally. 

“No state that allows their their officials to perpetrate torture and systemic rape and sexual abuse should be allowed to escape with impunity.”

“Democratic countries must send a clear message to the Chinese Communist Party: these abuses are unacceptable and will have clear consequences.”

Kimberley Kitching, IPAC co-chair and Australia Labor Senator, commented:

“The weight of evidence steadily coming out of the Xinjiang region leaves no room for doubt as to the horrific crimes and human rights abuses being committed by CCP officials against Uyghur and other ethnic minorities.”

“The international community can no longer be idle in the face of this brutal repression.”

STATEMENT ON REPORTS OF SYSTEMIC TORTURE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT IN XINJIANG PRISON CAMPS

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China is united in horror and in condemnation of sickening reports of the torture and rape of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the internment camps of Xinjiang. Eyewitness testimonies broadcast by the BBC have exposed depraved and dehumanising treatment of those detained in several camps. 

Our hearts go out to the courageous victims who gave testimony so that others might not suffer, and to those who continue to endure unimaginable cruelty. For too long, many democracies and the international community have been content to express their dismay as report after report has exposed the scale and severity of the abuse. 

The time for mere words has long passed. We must now move towards a coordinated effort to hold the Chinese government to account. These atrocities must be stopped.

We again call for a UN led or international legal investigation of crimes against humanity and genocide that are taking place in Xinjiang, and in the mean time for individual states to respond to their obligations under the genocide convention and take collective urgent political action in response to this evidence.

Signatories: 

Sen. Kimberley Kitching (Australia)

Sen. James Paterson (Australia)

Samuel Cogolati (Belgium)

Els van Hoof (Belgium)

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Canada)

Garnett Genuis MP (Canada)

Sen. Pavel Fischer MP (Czechia)

Jan Lipavský MP (Czechia)

Katarina Ammitzbøll MP (Denmark)

Uffe Elbæk MP (Denmark)

Reinhard Bütikofer MEP (EU)

Miriam Lexmann MEP (EU)

Isabelle Florennes MP (France)

Sen. André Gattolin (France)

Margarete Bause MdB (Germany)

Michael Brand MdB (Germany)

Sen. Lucio Malan (Italy)

Sen. Roberto Rampi (Italy)

Rep. Gen Nakatani (Japan)

Rep. Shiori Yamao (Japan)

Dovilė Šakalienė MP (Lithuania)

Martijn van Helvert MP (Netherlands)

Henk Krol MP (Netherlands)

Simon O’Connor MP (New Zealand)

Louisa Wall MP (New Zealand)

Elisabett Lann (Sweden)

Fredrik Malm MP (Sweden)

Fabian Molina MP (Switzerland)

Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP (UK)

Baroness Helena Kennedy (UK)

Sen. Bob Menendez (USA)

Sen. Marco Rubio (USA)

Photo: BBC.com (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-55794071)

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