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Third dossier of evidence on Chinese atrocities on Uyghurs submitted to ICC

ANI | Updated: Nov 12, 2021 13:16 IST

The Hague [Netherlands], November 12 (ANI): The third dossier of evidence was submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) asking for an investigation to be opened against Chinese authorities for genocide and other crimes against humanity allegedly being committed against the Uyghur people.
In a statement, East Turkistan Government in Exile said that this new evidence exposes the extent of Chinese involvement within Tajikistan - an ICC member state - to pursue Uyghurs and have them deported, abducted, and disappeared.
It confirms the magnitude of the enforced disappearances occurring on Tajik territory and further underlines that these unlawful acts are the first crucial steps in the alleged genocide and crimes against humanity that continue and are completed in China, said the statement.
The new evidence has been compiled from compelling 'insider' witness testimony.
"It provides direct and detailed information about how the system to target Uyghurs has been designed and deployed by Chinese officials operating within Tajikistan and other Central Asian states. It shows how these unlawful acts being carried out by Chinese authorities outside of their border in ICC members states like Tajikistan are the first crucial steps in the alleged genocide and crimes against humanity that continue and are completed in China. The ICC has jurisdiction over these continuing international crimes that commence on ICC territory in Tajikistan, " read the statement.
According to the statement, one Uyghur man talks about how he was forced to work with the Chinese authorities in Tajikistan.
He recounts especially how the Chinese authorities working inside Tajikistan would pit the Uyghurs against each other creating an environment of mistrust amongst the Uyghur community in the Bazaars in Tajikistan.

He confirms that one of the ways employed by the Chinese consulate in Tajikistan to deport Uyghurs "was to create problems with visas and documents." He tried to speak out about what was going on but this led to his parents being detained and he has never heard from them again. Then the situation got worse for him and he was warned about his imminent deportation, he was shown "a piece of paper where my name appeared. After seven days my residence permit would expire, and I would have to be deported to China." He was advised "Don't talk to anyone. Leave the country in seven days," said the statement.
Another witness describes similar mistrust fomented amongst the Uyghur communities working in the bazaars in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan where deportations also increased from 2017.
He said roughly a quarter of the Uyghurs are informers but no one knows who the informers are, "They watch where you go. This witness also provided cogent evidence that from late 2016 onwards, China has operated a similar strategy in Kyrgyzstan to that in Tajikistan including Uyghurs receiving phone calls from relatives in China begging them to go back; the non-renewal of visas; and local police under the command of the Chinese consulate taking Uyghurs to the border, whereupon they are deported by Chinese agents into East Turkistan (so-called "Xinjiang"), said the statement.
The evidence shows that the Uyghur population in Kyrgyzstan has similarly declined dramatically as has occurred in Tajikistan since 2017 as Uyghurs have been deported to China: in Tajikistan the Uyghur population decreased by over 85 per cent and in Kyrgyzstan by 87 per cent.
"All this evidence gives the OTP jurisdiction to open an investigation because the victims first must be arrested, abducted, deported and forcibly disappeared from an ICC member state and then be forced back into China for the murders, imprisonment, torture, persecution and other criminal acts to take place," the statement added.
The evidence was gathered through on-the-ground witness interviews in Central Asia including Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as well as from Turkey. The evidence has been submitted following the OTP's announcement that more evidence was needed to establish that the Court has jurisdiction to open an investigation, given that China is not an ICC State Party, the statement said.
The evidence was submitted by a team of lawyers led by Rodney Dixon QC on behalf of The East Turkistan Government in Exile, the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, and Uyghur victims. (ANI)