Report: China's treatment of Uighurs breaches U.N. genocide convention

Participants wear a masks during a rally against the Communist China government in Osaka, Japan, in 2019. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Participants wear a masks during a rally against the Communist China government in Osaka, Japan, in 2019. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

March 9 (UPI) -- China's treatment of its Uighur population violates every provision of the United Nations' genocide convention, according to a damning new report published Tuesday by dozens of experts on international law, genocide and Chinese ethnic policies.

The report, published by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, is the first independent legal analysis comparing the United Nations' convention on genocide to the claims of human rights abuses committed by China against its Muslim minority Uighur population in northwestern Xinjiang region.


"This report concludes that the People's Republic of China bears state responsibility for committing genocide against the Uighurs in breach of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide based on an extensive review of the available evidence and application of international law to the evidence of the facts on the ground," the document said.

The experts examined evidence against the U.N. convention, which states genocide occurs when acts are committed with "the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

According to the convention, genocide is committed in one of five ways: killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting group conditions of life to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures to prevent birth and forcibly transferring children from the group to another.


The report found that China has breached each of those five provisions under Article II of the genocide convention "based on clear and convincing standard of proof."

"The persons and entities perpetrating these acts of genocide are all state organs or agents under Chinese law, acting in their official capacities, or under the effective control of the state," the report said. "Therefore, China bears state responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uighurs, in breach of the Genocide Convention."

The report was published as international criticism against China mounts over its treatment of its Uighur citizens.

The United States has declared China's treatment of Uighurs genocide, accusing it of imprisoning more than 1 million people in concentration camps, where they are subjected to forced sterilization, torture and forced labor, as well as draconian restrictions on freedom of religion, expression and movement.

China has repeatedly and vehemently rebuked the accusations as foreign meddling in its internal affairs, stating the camps are an effort to stamp out extremism and terrorism.

On Sunday, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that claims the government was committing genocide "couldn't be more preposterous."

"It is just a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives, and a lie through and through," he said, accusing the United States and other countries that have leveled the claim as attempting to "undermine security and stability in Xinjiang and hold back China's development."


The report does not offer any recommendations for action, but its authors said they are prepared to share their findings with relevant institutions.

"We believe the conclusions are clear and convincing," the report's 27 authors said in a statement.

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