Designating Chinese entities complicit in crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uyghurs

Date: Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Venue: House of Commons, Committee Room 12

Time: 7pm GMT

On May 24th, CEFTUS hosted a significant parliamentary event titled “Designating Chinese Entities Complicit in Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide Against the Uyghurs.” The discussion, chaired by Navenda Mishra MP, featured prominent keynote speakers, including Alastair Carmichael MP, Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, and Uyghur activist Rahima Mahmut.

The event began with Navenda Mishra highlighting the recent media reports about a substantial data leak from Xinjiang, setting a serious tone for the discussion. Mishra emphasized the importance of this meeting in raising awareness and encouraging activism for justice for the Uyghur people.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP spoke extensively on the strategic operations of Chinese companies and their close ties with the Chinese government. He elaborated on how tech companies involved in CCTV and mobile phones, among other technologies, are being used to surveil and control the Uyghur population. Duncan Smith highlighted the alarming fact that over half of NHS trusts in the UK use CCTV systems linked to the Chinese Communist Party, urging the need for government action to sever these ties.

Rahima Mahmut, a Uyghur activist, provided a deeply personal account of the atrocities occurring in Xinjiang. She spoke of her own family’s suffering and the broader plight of the Uyghur people. Mahmut described the harrowing conditions inside the camps, where detainees face extreme surveillance, forced labor, and severe human rights abuses. Her testimony underscored the urgency of international intervention and support for the Uyghur community.

Alastair Carmichael MP discussed the legal and political measures that need to be taken to address these human rights violations. He called for stronger UN investigations and responses, the imposition of further sanctions, visa and travel bans, and the use of domestic laws to prosecute perpetrators of these crimes. Carmichael stressed the importance of a unified international stance to hold the Chinese government accountable.

Parliament has officially concluded that a genocide is taking place in Xinjiang. An independent tribunal has also found that Uyghur people living in Xinjiang have been subjected to unconscionable crimes against humanity, directed by the Chinese state, amounting to genocide. In a report produced with Stanford Law School’s Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, Human Rights Watch supported these findings, calling for more robust actions from the international community.

Despite these conclusions and the ongoing international condemnation, investment by Britain’s financial institutions into China continues to grow. Chinese state-linked companies are increasingly collaborating with UK institutions in critical sectors, and the UK is second only to the US in producing academic papers co-authored with scientists from the People’s Liberation Army. This close association poses significant ethical and security concerns.

The event concluded with a panel discussion on the necessary steps forward. The speakers emphasized the responsibility of the UK government and its institutions to take a firm stand against the atrocities committed in Xinjiang. They highlighted the need for stricter regulations and due diligence in ensuring that British markets and institutions are not complicit in these human rights abuses.

This event successfully shed light on the urgent need for concerted action against the human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang. It underscored the importance of scrutinizing the UK’s financial and academic ties with China to ensure ethical and responsible engagement. The speakers called for continued activism and vigilance to support the Uyghur people and hold the Chinese government accountable for its actions.

Thank you to all who attended and contributed to this vital discussion. Your engagement and activism are crucial in the fight for justice for the Uyghur people.