Ruth Ingram | Bitter Winter
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) calls the claim that genocide is taking place in Xinjiang the “lie of the century.” The European Parliament exposed the CCP as the real liar.
The European Parliament has pitted itself against the might of China and taken a bold stand against the horrors being meted out against the Turkic peoples of Xinjiang.
Flying in the face of Super Power sanctions, condemnation and insults, members have voted overwhelmingly to name and shame the atrocities. “Credible evidence about birth prevention measures and the separation of Uyghur children from their families amount to crimes against humanity and represent a serious risk of genocide,” are its sobering conclusions.
Calling out specific crimes, and drawing from the cache of hacked material from China’s internment camp computers, known as the “Xinjiang Police Files,” the MEPs condemned by a resolution voted on June 9 the “brutal measures” used to systematically oppress the people. These included “mass deportation, political indoctrination, family separation, restrictions of religious freedom, cultural destruction, and extensive use of surveillance.”
The landmark vote sent the relationship into a further downward spin, significantly damaged last year when key members of four separate parties were sanctioned by the regime for their advocacy on behalf of the Uyghurs.
An infuriated Beijing has condemned the “so-called” resolution an “absurd farce to smear China.”
Zhao Lijian, foreign affairs spokesman for Beijing lashed out, condemning the “gross interference” in China’s internal affairs and the “blatant violations of international law and basic norms of international relations.” “China strongly condemns and firmly opposes it,” he said, continuing Beijing’s well versed mantra that Xinjiang-related issues have nothing to do with “ethnicity, religion or human rights,” but measures are adopted for reasons of “counter-terrorism, de-radicalization, and anti-separatism.”
The raft of recommendations including strong bids for a new trade mechanism banning products made by forced labour were hailed by Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress as a historic moment, and one that would accelerate accountability mechanisms to bring justice to the Uyghur people.
“The EU and its Member States must now act upon these calls and do everything they can, in cooperation with governments and civil society worldwide, to end the Uyghur genocide”, he urged.
Buoyed by the US Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act, which comes into effect on June 21 this year, and puts the onus on companies to guarantee unblemished supply chains, Isa is hoping for a united front across all jurisdictions. He hopes the European Parliament’s resolution will be noted by the European Commission in September when it sets out to ban forced labour products onto the EU market.
Heidi Hautala, a vice president of the parliament, commenting on the resolution sounded hopeful, saying in a Twitter statement, that “the European Parliament is signaling that it no longer wants the EU to be complicit with the Chinese totalitarian regime, which has been perpetuating a crime against humanity in the Xinjiang region for five years.”
MEPa also condemned the recent cursory 8-day visit to China of UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, and demanded the report on Xinjiang be released as a matter of urgency. They also pressed for additional sanctions against high ranking Chinese officials and all those implicated by the hacked Xinjiang Police Files.
“The Xinjiang Police Files have clearly been a wake-up call for the European Parliament to sense the urgency of the situation and the need for effective action,” said Dolkun Isa, in a statement following the vote.
“The resolution highlights the obligations of the EU and its member states under the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to put an end to these atrocities and ensure responsibility for the crimes committed,” he said.