'Uygur Tribunal' an extended media event for Xinjiang separatists
First Voice

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The so-called Uygur Tribunal has opened in London, led by a British barrister and clothed in all the pomp and ceremony of a distinguished court of law.

However, unlike an actual court of law, the "tribunal" has no legal power. It is, in fact, a made-for-television pseudo-event that serves as a theatrical extended media conference for the World Uygur Congress (WUC).

This separatist group claims Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which it refers to as "East Turkistan," has been "occupied" by China since 1949. The WUC claims that it, not China, is the sole legitimate organization representing the Uygur people.

This ambitious separatist group – which hopes one day to become the government of an independent Xinjiang – organized and controls this "tribunal."

It is worth noting that the "tribunal" took it for granted that "atrocities" were ongoing in Xinjiang before it was even formed.

In short, this "tribunal" was created by an avowed separatist organization that seeks to discredit China and force it out of Xinjiang so it can rule.

The chairman handpicked by the separatists was a savvy choice.

Geoffrey Nice has, in fact, worked as a part-time judge in the United Kingdom. Because Nice has served as a judge, he is able to script the whole performance to appear as if it were an actual legal proceeding. Even though the "tribunal" is all play-acting, the authentic touches crafted by an off-duty judge create enough confusion and atmosphere to give the body an air of legitimacy it does not deserve.

Although Nice has done work in legitimate, legally empowered international tribunals in the past, this does not at all make him an impartial observer.

Nice chaired an earlier panel in 2019 called the "China Tribunal" that concluded "unanimously, and sure beyond a reasonable doubt – that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims."

This is notable because no UN body, government, or media organization has reached the same conclusion. In fact, they have concluded the opposite – that claims of organ harvesting have no evidence.

There is little doubt that the "Uygur Tribunal," involving many of the same players, will conclude "beyond reasonable doubt" that China is committing "genocide" in Xinjiang.

People dance outside the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 22, 2019. /Xinhua

People dance outside the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 22, 2019. /Xinhua

The head of the WUC is Dolkun Isa, who is wanted as a terrorist by China. He denies that his organization supports violence yet has pushed for independence throughout a wave of separatist terror attacks in Xinjiang.

China's current Xinjiang policy of providing training and jobs to poor people vulnerable to extremist ideology has stopped the terror attacks. But the policies, which destroyed the momentum of the separatists, led to the current claims of "genocide."

Isa has ties with anti-China politicians in Western nations and has been given the "Human Rights Award" by the U.S.-based "Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation." Isa clearly enjoys support from the highest levels of Western politicians seeking to contain China's rise.

"Expert witnesses" in the "tribunal" include Sean Roberts, the author of a book called The War on the Uygurs, organ harvest conspiracy theorist Ethan Gutmann, the notorious "scholar" Adrian Zenz, and anonymous witnesses who will allege "torture, sexual abuse, and organ testing within the camps."

Whether through laziness, lack of understanding, or the knowledge that anti-China sensationalism sells, Western media reports on the "tribunal" have skimmed over or failed to mention that this event has no legal standing. None of them have reported that it has been organized by a separatist organization with a vested interest in discrediting China's rule. None have mentioned how one-sided and extreme the so-called "witnesses" are.

In this sense, this anti-China farce could succeed in providing the Western public with one more repetition of the big lie that there is a "genocide" occurring in Xinjiang.

No serious international body, let alone human rights organization, has offered evidence of atrocities in Xinjiang. Instead, there has been innuendo from "scholars" at right-wing "think tanks," economic pressure on corporations, and unverifiable testimony from anonymous witnesses or members of separatist groups.

Thoughtful observers will realize that the so-called "evidence" for "genocide" is being presented in this kangaroo court for a reason.

The credibility of the evidence is as flimsy as the credibility of the court.

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