Lawyers for Uyghur Rights is calling on UK MP's to support a vote to be held on Thursday 22 April 2021 calling out Chinese government atrocities against the Turkic peoples of North West China as genocide.
The group of international lawyers set up to raise the profile of Uyghur people, chaired by London-based barrister Michael Polak, is urging parliamentarians to join a growing number of nations willing to agree that Beijing's actions in the Uyghur Region are genocidal, by voting in favour of the motion on April 22nd.
The catalogue of human rights abuses carried out under the guise of the "War on Terror", which escalated in 2016 upon the arrival of Chen Quanguo, a new governor to the region, have resulted in several million, mostly Uyghurs, being herded into purpose built internment camps without trial or legal representation, for indeterminate lengths of time. Many have died in the camps, countless numbers following their release and hundreds have disappeared altogether. Mass sterilizations, torture, removal of children to orphanages, attempts to eradicate Uyghur religion, culture and language are well documented.
Several countries including the USA, Canada and the Netherlands, have already called out the actions of the Chinese government as genocide. Despite engaging in vigorous debate in both houses and examining evidence in special committees, the UK government has to date stopped short of labelling it a genocide.
Activists and organisations from every political and religious affiliation have been campaigning for months to raise awareness of the plight of the Uyghurs who are unable to speak up for themselves. Exiled Uyghurs have spoken out about the agony of watching the dismantling of their culture and the heartache of not knowing the fate of their husbands, wives and children, or whether they will ever see them again.
In a plea broadcast on Sky News this week, the exiled singer, writer and London director of the World Uyghur Congress, Rahima Mahmut quoted President Xi Jinping's orders concerning her people to "break their lineage, break their roots and break their connections." (https://news.sky.com/video/uighur-time-for-the-uk-govt-to-call-this-genocide-12276911 ) She fears for the future of her people if the world fails to step up before it is too late.
"It is time for the UK Parliament to call this a genocide," she begged.
Michael Polak joining the call for the UK government to nail its colours to the mast urged MP's to vote. "The evidence is strong" said Polak. "How much more proof is needed that the Chinese Communist Party is not only carrying out crimes against humanity, but a genocide against these people? Satellites do not lie. Countless witness statements independently compiled are irrefutable and evidence of intent from the mouths of government officials and the President of China himself no less are living proof that a genocide is being carried out. We have seen evidence of systematic torture and sexual offences against the Uyghur people, measures to prevent Uyghur births, and the removal of Uyghur children from their parents for forced indoctrination.
When Uyghurs are unable to speak out from their fortress land, it is up to us in the democratic world to speak out on their behalf."