A group of Uyghur Muslims residing outside China has filed a complaint against China with the International Criminal Court, to investigate crimes against humanity and genocide committed by China against the Muslim minority, according to the New York Times.
The move is the first attempt to use international law to hold China’s ruling Communist Party accountable for its campaign against minorities, and a team of London-based lawyers representing Uyghur activists has filed a complaint against Beijing.
The complaint also demanded an investigation into Beijing’s continued return of thousands of Uyghur fleeing outside China to the country through unlawful arrests or deportations from Cambodia and Tajikistan, and the case could lead to a more international investigation of China’s authority and its attempt to impose its will outside its borders, according to the newspaper.
The 80-page complaint includes a list of more than 30 Chinese officials who said they are directly responsible for these violations, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, leader of the Communist Party. In recent years, his policies have put Muslim minorities in western Xinjiang under a network. Extensive observation, detention, and genocide.
As many as a million Uyghur Muslims and members of other Muslim minorities were detained in concentration camps in the region, which sparked increasing global condemnation, the Xinjiang government expanded its efforts to provoke, pressure or force Uyghurs to return from abroad, established detention camps that aimed to erase the Uyghur culture, and imposed training and indoctrination programs for communist beliefs.
The authorities are also continuing an extensive and disturbing campaign to significantly reduce the birth rate among minorities in Xinjiang by using forced female infertility and forced abortion, according to an Associated Press investigation.
The American newspaper stressed that the court’s mandate is to seek justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and other atrocities, but China does not recognize the court, which raises questions about what the case can achieve.
How to try China?
Rodney Dixon, a British lawyer pleading the case, said he circumvented the idea that Beijing would not sign the court treaty by focusing on allegations of illegal actions by China in Cambodia and Tajikistan, two countries on the court.
“The court has said that it has jurisdiction when crimes begin or end in a member state, and this is the case here,” said Dixon, citing a court ruling in 2018.
The 2018 ruling was applied to Myanmar, which also did not sign the court treaty, and the court ruled that it could prosecute Myanmar for “forced displacement” and other crimes against Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh, a member of the court.
Their complaints generally target China’s policies in Xinjiang over the past decade, imposing harsh security measures in the wake of a wave of violent unrest, and the Uyghurs have long expressed dissatisfaction with the strict restrictions imposed by the authorities on their religion and culture and the influx of Han Chinese into Xinjiang.
The British lawyer stated that the complaint against Beijing included evidence of forced deportations and detentions outside the border by Chinese agents, which were gathered from witnesses and victims, and reports from the United Nations and organizations such as Amnesty International and exile groups.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not have an immediate comment on the complaint, but the Chinese government has repeatedly rejected the evidence of repression and humanitarian violations against Uyghur Muslims, and the ministry said last week in a long response to recent criticism of China’s human rights record: “Xinjiang implements a policy of complete religious freedom of belief, did not limit freedom of travel for the Uyghur Muslims or members of any other ethnic groups.”
In a related context, “lookout” for cybersecurity announced that China uses some malware in the Android system to spy on Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities around the world, according to a report published in Forbes.
The company confirmed that China uses 4 spyware programs which are SilkBean, DoubleAgent, CarbonSteal and GoldenEagle, associated with the Chinese hacker group GREF, also known as APT15.
This malware collects a large collection of personal data from Android smartphones, including location data, contact information, text messages, call history and mobile metadata such as model name and serial number.
CarbonSteal is also capable of voice recording and data collection from popular chat applications in China, and GoldenEagle can capture screenshots and images using devices that have been affected by the virus.