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Independent report claims evidence of China’s ‘intent to destroy’ Uighurs

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The Chinese government’s actions in its northwestern Xinjiang province have violated every provision in the United Nations’ Genocide Convention, according to an independent report by more than 50 global experts in human rights, war crimes, and international law.

The report, published Tuesday by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy think tank in Washington, D.C., claimed the Chinese government “bears state responsibility for an ongoing genocide against” the Uighurs “in breach of the (UN) Genocide Convention.”

It is the first time a non-governmental organization has undertaken an independent legal investigation into the accusations of genocide in Xinjiang, according to CNN, who exclusively received an advanced copy of the report.

“China’s policies and practices targeting [Uighurs] in the region must be viewed in their totality, which amounts to an intent to destroy the [Uighurs] as a group, in whole or in part,” the report said.

Up to 2 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are estimated to have been detained in a network of detention centers throughout the region, according to Axios.

Furthermore, numerous reports and testimonies suggest the authoritarian government is specifically targeting the Muslim-majority population with actions such as forbidding public prayer and surveilling mosques.

Former detainees claim they were indoctrinated, sexually abused, and forcibly sterilized at these reeducation camps, according to reports.

Back in June, an Associated Press investigation also concluded that China was committing “demographic genocide” through forced sterilization and abortions.

China has denied these allegations, saying the centers are necessary to prevent religious “extremism” and terrorism. During a Sunday press conference, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi slammed the allegations.

“The claim that there is genocide in Xinjiang couldn’t be more preposterous,” he said. “It is just a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives, and a lie through and through.”

Adopted in December 1948 following the end of World War II and the Holocaust, the U.N. Genocide Convention is considered the international legal standard for what constitutes “genocide.” China, alongside 151 other member nations, is a signatory to the convention.

The Newlines Institute report mostly looks at Article II of the Genocide Convention, which defines genocide as an attempt to commit acts “with an intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Following the convention’s adoption, it has been the basis for international tribunals against genocide perpetrators such as those in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, which occurred in the International Criminal Tribunals held by the U.N. Some convictions occur in national courts, such as an Iraqi one in 2006 finding former dictator Saddam Hussein guilty of genocide.

However, establishing an international tribunal under the convention would require approval from the U.N. Security Council. Further complicating matters, China is a permanent member of the council with veto power, making any U.N. debate on genocide accusations in Xinjiang incredibly unlikely.

The convention, it should be noted, does not outline specific penalties or punishments for states or governments found to have committed genocide. Although, the Newlines report said that under the agreement, the other 151 signatories have a responsibility to act.

“China’s obligations […] to prevent, punish and not commit genocide are erga omnes, or owed to the international community as a whole,” the report stated.

On January 19, the final full day of the Trump administration, then-outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a declaration calling China’s actions in Xinjiang as “genocide,” making the United States the first country to formally do so. Pompeo’s successor, Antony Blinken, has said he agrees with the genocide designations, meaning the Biden administration will likely not rescind it.

RELATED: Rep. Clyburn refuses to comment on State Dept. saying China is committing ‘genocide’ against Uighur Muslims

RELATED: ‘Different norms’: Biden downplays China’s repression of Uighurs

Following suit last month, Canada and the Netherlands’ parliaments passed non-binding resolutions labeling China’s repression of Uighurs as genocide.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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DOJ federal indictment connects Sinaloa Cartel and Chinese ‘underground banking’

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The Justice Department (DOJ) announced a huge connection between Chinese organized crime and the Sinaloa drug cartel. In a press release the DOJ reported a 10-count superseding indictment charging Los Angeles-based associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel with conspiring with money-laundering groups linked to Chinese underground banking to launder drug trafficking proceeds. During the conspiracy, more than $50 million in drug proceeds flowed between the Sinaloa Cartel associates and Chinese underground money exchanges.”

The indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation into the conspiracy—dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner”— unsealed on Monday charging a total of 24 defendants with one count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, according to the press release.

“Dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying people’s lives but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “To protect our community, therefore, it is essential that we go after the sophisticated, international criminal syndicates that launder the drug money. As this indictment and our international actions show, we will be dogged in our pursuit of all those who facilitate destruction in our country and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.”

“Drug traffickers generate immense amounts of cash through their illicit operations. This case is a prime example of Chinese money launderers working hand in hand with drug traffickers to try to legitimize profits generated by drug activities,” said Chief Guy Ficco of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We have made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and dismantle any money launderers working with drug cartels and we are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels and those who assist them in laundering drug proceeds.”

The Justice.Gov website explains of the indictment: “Following close coordination with the Justice Department, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement informed United States authorities that those countries recently arrested fugitives named in the superseding indictment who fled the United States after they were initially charged last year.”

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