Uyghur Tribunal begins today in Westminster

The first hearings to investigate China’s alleged genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghur, Kazakh and other Turkic Muslim populations started today in Westminster.

The tribunal, which will include evidence gathered since September 2020, runs until Monday and will be live streamed via YouTube.

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Chairman of the Uyghur Tribunal, said: “There is no court to which China can be taken.

“That’s the reason that something like this tribunal serves a purpose.”

Ahead of the hearings, the tribunal said: “It has been widely reported that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is detaining a significant proportion of the Uyghur, Kazakh and other Turkic Muslim populations in camps which the PRC says are “vocational training centres” or “re-education centres” but are widely alleged to be involuntary detention centres which some have likened to “concentration camps”.

The hearings, which will be held at Church House in Westminster, will include statements from witnesses who claim to have been subject to or witnessed this abuse.

WESTMINSTER: The site of the Uyghur tribunal for the next few days

The tribunal, held to impartially investigate China in response to the reports, invited the country to take part, but, China instead denounced the hearings and the Chinese government sanctioned Sir Geoffrey.

The second set of the two hearings will run later in the year from the 10th-13th September.

An online Crowdfunder for the tribunal has so far raised more than £245,000, with the money going towards paying some of the participants.

The page explains: “Depending on the judgment, the tribunal could pressure states, individuals and international organisations to consider how they interact with the People’s Republic of China, as well as potentially giving alleged victims some sense of peace.”

Sir Geoffrey added: “Often the thing they most seek is that truth will be given about what has happened and that by the giving or the rendering of that truth, they may achieve some peace.”

Featured Image Credit langkawi via flickr

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