«Cannot Forget...» : Uyghur Tribunal Hears Testimony Of Alleged China Abuses

'Cannot Forget...': Uyghur Tribunal Hears Testimony Of Alleged China Abuses

Witness holds up photograph on the first day of hearings at the "Uyghur Tribunal".

London, United Kingdom:

A London panel investigating the plight of Uyghurs in China on Friday heard witness testimony of torture and gang rapes, in a process slammed by Beijing as a mendacious smear.

One witness described squalid conditions and brutality in camps in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, and said one woman had died after undergoing forced sterilisation.

The nine UK-based jurors of the "Uyghur Tribunal", including lawyers and human rights experts, convened the first of two evidence sessions and intend to publish a report in December on whether China is guilty of genocide.

"Allegations made against the PRC (People's Republic of China) are grave," tribunal chair Geoffrey Nice said at the opening of the first four-day session, explaining they included numerous breaches of the UN declaration on human rights.

The body is not affiliated with any government, and China has refused to participate, branding it a "machine producing lies". It has slapped sanctions on Nice, a former UN war crimes prosecutor, and others involved.

But counsel for the tribunal said the US and Australian governments had offered to provide relevant material, to add to thousands of pages of documentary evidence already compiled.

It was set up at the request of the World Uyghur Congress, the largest group representing exiled Uyghurs, which lobbies the international community to take action against China over alleged abuses in Xinjiang.

But Nice and his colleagues have vowed that the panel's work will be "impartial" and led by the evidence.

Qelbinur Sidik, an ethnic-Uzbek teacher from Xinjiang's capital Urumqi, said she was ordered by communist party bosses to teach Chinese in two fetid and crowded "re-education" camps, one male and one female, for Uyghurs.

- 'Blasphemy against the law' -

The so-called students were made to wear shackles during hours-long classes, she told the tribunal.

"The police, the guards in the camp, they didn't see the male prisoners as human beings," Sidik said. "They enjoyed watching them being humiliated and their suffering was for them their joy."

Female prisoners were allegedly abused when they were taken for interrogation. "They were not only tortured but also raped, sometimes gang-raped," Sidik said.

Forced sterilisation of Uyghur women was common and in one instance, a female prisoner died from the process, she said.

Sidik said she was also subjected to forced sterilisation before she was given a visa to visit her daughter in the Netherlands, and fled China.

"The things that I have witnessed and I experienced, I cannot forget even for a day," she said. "I am a woman myself, I have a daughter. I don't wish anyone to suffer like that."

Rights groups say up to one million Uyghurs and people from other ethnic-Turkic minorities are detained in internment camps in Xinjiang.

The allegations heard at the tribunal are consistent with many other accounts emanating from the camps in Xinjiang, leading the US government to declare that genocide is underway.

But China insists the camps are for the educational improvement of Xinjiang residents, to deter extremism and boost incomes.

"This pseudo tribunal has nothing to do with the law. It is embezzling the name of a 'tribunal' to engage in anti-China politics and manipulation of public opinion," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Thursday.

"It is pure blasphemy against the law," he said.

"This so-called tribunal has also entangled a group of people whose opposition to China is their profession and livelihood," Wang added, noting the backing of the World Uyghur Congress.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
Covid-19: UK gov working on quarantine-free travel for double-jabbed Brits despite Delta variant.

Covid-19: UK gov working on quarantine-free travel for double-jabbed Brits despite Delta variant.

Coronavirus latest: BRITS have been handed a holiday boost after Matt Hancock announced he's "absolutely working on" plans to exempt double-jabbed sunseekers from quarantine. The notoriously cautious health secretary said a scheme which allows the...

How you shape independent journalism: a message from the Guardian's editor.

How you shape independent journalism: a message from the Guardian's editor.

In the face of current seismic political shocks, rapidly changing climate and an enduring pandemic, the Guardian’s independent journalism feels more vital now than ever. With your help, we can continue to report on the most urgent stories of our t...

Africa sees spike in COVID infections and deaths - DW News.

Africa sees spike in COVID infections and deaths - DW News.

The rate of coronavirus cases is rising in many parts of Africa, where governments face alarming shortages of funds and vaccines. The global drop in infection rates "masks a worrying increase in cases and deaths in many countries," Tedros Adhanom ...

Watch live: Track the impact of global warming on the world.

Watch live: Track the impact of global warming on the world.

This data livestream shows in real time what is causing our environment to change. From the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to how much the world has warmed because of human activity since the industrial revolution. Here’s a breakdown o...

Horror 18-car pileup that killed 10 after Tropical Storm Claudette hit Alabama.

Horror 18-car pileup that killed 10 after Tropical Storm Claudette hit Alabama.

A MOTHER is in a serious condition in hospital today after losing two children in a horror 18-vehicle pile-up that claimed the lives of ten people. Candice Gulley was driving her son and daughter, four girls who live at an abuse survivor's ranch, ...

Candace Owens: US government is engaged in criminality.

Candace Owens: US government is engaged in criminality.

'Candace' host reacts to spike in crime in major cities on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.' #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service ...