World International Criminal Court refuses to investigate Uyghurs in China

International Criminal Court refuses to investigate Uyghurs in China


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648x415 manifestation faveur ouigour pays bas 20 aout 2020

A demonstration in favor of the Uyghurs, in the Netherlands on August 20, 2020. – SOPA Images

On the Uyghur case, the International Criminal Court (ICC) can legally do nothing. Prosecutors, based in The Hague, refused to investigate the situation of the Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region, as China is not a member of the ICC. According to a report released Monday by the office of the Attorney General, Fatou Bensouda, an investigation is therefore impossible.

Regarding the forced deportations of Uyghur populations to China from Tajikistan and Cambodia, the prosecutor’s office considered that “there was not at this stage sufficient elements” to launch investigations. The members of the Uyghur community in exile considered that Tajikistan and Cambodia being parties to the Treaty of Rome at the origin of the Court in 2002 and the facts having taken place on their territories, the ICC could launch investigations on these deportations denounced.

“Camps” versus “Vocational training centers”

The Uyghurs are the main ethnic group in Xinjiang, a huge region of China which notably has common borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Regularly hit by deadly attacks, attributed by Beijing to separatists or Uyghur Islamists, the region is under heavy police surveillance.

More than a million people, mainly Muslims, have been interned there in “camps”, accuse human rights organizations. China, for its part, claims that these are “vocational training centers”, intended to help the population find employment and thus remove them from religious extremism.



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