Author: Billwilliam Reviewer: Irene
As reported by the Associated Press, an independent tribunal in the UK will hear about thirty witnesses over the Chinese Communist Party’s genocidal activities in Xinjiang during its first hearing in London in May.
The tribunal will be chaired by barrister Geoffrey Nice, who previously prosecuted Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic in the International Criminal Court.
According to the tribunal’s organizer, lawyers will examine 1500 pieces of documents and evidence to determine whether the CCP committed genocide. The written testimonies will include direct and circumstantial evidence, some of which are unpublished.
The thirty witnesses will testify in the first hearing scheduled from May, 7 to May, 10 in London, and a second hearing will be held in September. The tribunal will probably issue a verdict by the end of this year.
An eight-member jury panel has been selected to review various allegations of genocide that the CCP committed against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, such as torture, imprisonment, systematic rape, forced sterilization, and forced abortion. The jury consists of academics, lawyers, and an ex-diplomat—no China expert is included on purpose to ensure the fairness of the trial.
One drawback is that the independent tribunal is purely organized by civilians. It lacks any government backing and cannot enforce its rulings. The purpose is to draw international attention to the CCP’s atrocities in Xinjiang.
In addition, the verdict of this tribunal can serve as a benchmark to more formal trials in the future. The House of Lords has already passed an amendment allowing British Courts to judge on genocide. If the House of Commons also ratifies the law next week as we hope, government-backed courts in the UK can determine whether the CCP committed genocide. The evidence shown in the independent tribunal can also be presented in the hearings of formal courts.
Former Secretary Pompeo’s genocide designation opened a new battlefield against the CCP. Following his footsteps, Britain is the second country advocating to hold the CCP accountable. A global anti-CCP alliance is being formed.