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ICC rejection to investigate Uyghur genocide is vast moral failure: Experts

ANI | Updated: Dec 29, 2020 12:01 IST

Washington [US], December 29 (ANI): The International Criminal Court's (ICC) rejection of calls by exiled Uyghurs to investigate China for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity represents a "vast moral" and "institutional failure", according to experts.
In mid-December, Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, said in a report that it was unable to act because the alleged acts happened in the territory of China, which is not a signatory to the court.
"This precondition for the exercise of the court's territorial jurisdiction did not appear to be met concerning the majority of the crimes alleged," said Bensouda's office, in its annual report.
In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Jeane Kirkpatrick, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Bill Drexel, a research assistant, write that China stands accused of atrocities against more than a million victims in an ongoing campaign of systematic torture, rape, forced labour and involuntary sterilisation."There can be no doubt that the court's dodging jurisdiction of the Uyghur issue represents a vast moral and institutional failure," they write.
Kirkpatrick and Drexel said there is mounting evidence that China's campaign of repression against Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities fits the United Nations legal definition of genocide -- the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group," including killing, bodily harm, "group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction" and more.

"Though the Uyghurs have long been targeted by the Chinese state, in the past four years the Uyghur homeland has transformed into the world's most advanced high-tech surveillance state, as officials seek to fulfil Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping's command to use the 'organs of dictatorship' and show 'absolutely no mercy' in cracking down on perceived threats from Turkic minorities," they added.
According to credible reports, more than one million people, are or have been, detained in what is being called 'political re-education' centres, in the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic minority population in the world today.
The internment camp system in the XUAR is expanding, with more than 380 suspected detention facilities having been newly built or expanded since 2017, and at least 61 detention sites newly constructed or expanded between July 2019 and July 2020.
The experts said the ICC need to show a "backbone and sense of proportionality" in the matter. "Facing accusations of corruption and politicization, the court is at a turning point as elections for the next chief prosecutor loom. The successful candidate will direct the agenda of the court for years to come," they further wrote.
They said the upcoming administration of Joe Biden must make to the ICC and the US allies that the first step toward an improvement in US relations with the court must be the institution's thorough investigation of the world's largest ongoing atrocity.
Biden has a chance to help restore the ICC's credibility and deliver some small hope for justice to China's Uyghurs. He would be foolish not to take the opportunity," they further said. (ANI)