fredag 4. juni 2021

Hearings in London aim to assess allegations of genocide in China

A series of hearings begins in London on Friday aiming to gather evidence on whether the Chinese government's alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region constitute a genocide. An eight-member panel, chaired by the prominent British barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice, will hear from about 30 witnesses over four days of testimony. The hearings have no government backing and the panel's conclusions are not binding on ministers, but the organisers say they hope the process will add to the body of evidence around the allegations against China.

The panel consists of academics, lawyers, and a former British diplomat. In selecting its members, the organisers intentionally drew from a mix of disciplines and avoided China experts to avoid a risk of prejudgment, Sir Geoffrey said. The hearings, branded by organisers as the Uyghur Tribunal, were arranged by the London-based businessman Nick Vetch. Mr Vetch was previously involved with similar hearings in 2019 that examined allegations of organ harvesting in China. The Chinese state has been accused of crimes against humanity and genocide in Xinjiang, a large region in the country's northwest which is home to the Uyghurs and other minority Muslim groups.