lørdag 21. januar 2023

World Uyghur Congress loses legal challenge against UK authorities

The World Uyghur Congress has said it is disappointed to have lost a legal challenge against UK authorities for not launching a criminal investigation into the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province but would continue to fight for accountability. The WUC took the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), to the high court, claiming an unlawful failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps used to detain Uyghurs and people from other Muslim minorities.

It said 85% of Chinese cotton was grown in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and the “vast majority” was manufactured in facilities under “conditions of detention and forced labour”, implicating UK companies that imported from certain Chinese firms.

However, on Friday, Mr Justice Dove ruled against the WUC. He accepted the government’s argument that the WUC had not proved that a specific consignment of cotton imported into the UK was the product of unlawful conduct. In his written judgment, the judge further said that for UK companies to be prosecuted under the Proceeds of Crime Act, it would have to be shown that “the consignment had been purchased for significantly less than its value”.