In a move which is seeing cross party support from across the British parliament, British MPs and Peers have proposed that Uighurs should have the right to petition UK courts to declare that China’s actions against Uighur Muslims amount to genocide.
The proposal, lead by Ian Duncan Smith, is causing a nightmare for the UK government. If a UK court declared a genocide by China, it would have legal implications on trade deals with China.
The USA has already declared sanctions on China for abuses against the Muslim Uighurs after a Bill was passed by US congress with unanimous support.
While it has been widely reported and verified that a genocide is taking place in Xinjiang (originally East Turkistan), the UN however has become powerless to do anything. Most cases of genocide and atrocities go unchecked due to political divisions meaning a meaningful vote to declare a genocide has become impossible in the UN.
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Over a million Muslim Uighurs have been detained in concentration camps with details emerging of new camps being built, taking the total to over 400 camps.
Opening the Pathway to Legal Action
An amendment to the UK Trade Bill is also due to be passed in the House of Lords. The amendment would restrict trade deals if UK courts determine that the country in question is committing genocide.
Senior Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs are backing the move, despite lack of support from the Government. Senior judges have also backed the move.
Lord Ahmad said there was “compelling evidence including from the Chinese government’s own documents of gross human rights abuses” and that the international community should be given unrestricted access to the area to determine what is occurring.
The UK’s relationship with China has recently faced challenges over China’s controversial ‘National Security’ laws in Hong Kong. The UK was unable to prevent authoritarian measures and potential Human Rights abuses from occurring, despite the presence of UK judges in Hong Kong.
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