China’s Persecution of Uyghur Muslims Constitutes Genocide

Reports continued to surface throughout 2021 regarding the persecution of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority. In April, the Daily Telegraph described concentrations camps where arbitrary detention, rape and forced sterilizations, torture, unpaid labor, and organ harvesting is the fate of over 1.5 million Xinjiang Muslim Uyghurs. The Washington DC based think tank Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy found overwhelming evidence that the Chinese regime is violating all five provisions of the United Nations Convention on Genocide.

In a May interview, Japan-based Uyghur human rights activist Tur Muhammet claimed that “based on the local population decrease, it is estimated that at least three million people, at most five million people, were placed in the [detention] camps between 2017 and 2019.” Additionally, “In 2019, the Chinese government’s internal documents leaked, revealing that the camps were divided into three levels of discipline: ‘reinforced control,’ ‘strict control’ and ‘normal control,’ in order of strictness. Furthermore, all the reports of tortures, rapes and murders come from the least strict ‘normal control’ camps. There are no survivors from the two stricter levels.”

The Liberty Web article states, “The Uyghurs were distributed throughout the country [from September to December 2019] so CCP can transplant fresh organs in any region. It is known that China is harvesting organs from Falun Gong believers, but the number of living believers has been on the decline, and the ‘donors’ are almost gone. The Uyghurs are filling this role.”

Widely reported in Australian and Indian newspapers, Australia’s Herald Sun described the horrors allegedly being perpetrated on Uyghurs and other minorities by the Chinese regime, including forced organ harvesting. “The hospitals that carry out the organ transplant, the report said, are reportedly found not too far away from the detention centres… [and] the number of performed operations in the hospitals and the short waiting lists indicate there has been ‘forced organ harvesting’ for a very long time on a large scale.” A healthy liver “fetches around USD 160,000” with the organ trade providing an estimated annual income of “at least USD 1 billion” for China.

In June, a nine-member tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice, conducted the first set of hearings in London known as the Uyghur Tribunal. More than 30 witnesses and experts provided testimony regarding “enforced disappearances, the compulsory sterilization of women and forced contraception, organ harvesting, and torture” at the hand of Chinese officials. Later, leaked documents shared with the Tribunal revealed that members of China’s top leadership have been directly responsible for the persecution of the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang. On December 9, 2021, Sir Nice presented the Tribunal’s summary judgement which concluded that China’s treatment of the Uyghurs constitutes a genocide.