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China committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims say UK MPs

14th May 2021

Hamed Chapman

British Member of Parliament in the House of Commons have declared that Uyghur Muslims and other minorities are “suffering crimes against humanity and genocide” in Xinjiang, China, in what has been described as a “historic moment.”

Although non-binding, the motion raised by Conservative former minister Nus Ghani on April 22 urges Boris Johnson’s Government to act and fulfil its obligations under international human rights law but the Prime Minister has insisted the attribution of genocide is a matter for the courts.

In support of her case, Ghani compiled evidence to address narratives that seek to undermine the charge, stating there could be “no reasonable doubt” that the Chinese state is committing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region as well as subjecting them to significant oppression in violation of their religious and personal liberties.

The United States declared in January that China had committed genocide in its repression of the Uyghurs, while national parliaments such as in Canada and the Netherlands have also made similar declarations.
During the debate, former Conservative Leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, urged the Government to “rethink their position”, saying that the United Kingdom “will not gain any particular friendship by not calling out genocide from the Chinese.”

“It is simply not a tradable item. The United Kingdom Government has said endlessly — and I understand this — that only a competent court can declare genocide, that is absolutely the original plan. But the problem is that getting to a competent court is impossible,” Duncan Smith said.

“At the United Nations it is impossible to get through to the International Court of Justice, it is impossible to get through to the International Criminal Court as China is not a signatory to that and therefore will not obey that.”
Evidence has suggested that the Chinese Government has pursued policies leading to more than a million Muslims being held in secretive internment camps without any legal process in what has become the largest-scale and most systematic detention of ethnic and religious minorities since the Holocaust.

Thousands of mosques have been destroyed or damaged, and hundreds of thousands of children have been forcibly separated from their parents and sent to boarding schools.

Up to 34 per cent of married Uyghur women of childbearing age in some areas are also reported to have been sterilised.

Johnson has frequently been accused of having an incoherent policy towards China by allowing human rights issues to be offset by having a post-Brexit vision of setting to make the United Kingdom as China’s closest friend in the west giving its growing global and technological dominance in the world.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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