The complaint at the International Criminal Court is the first of its kind to challenge Beijing on its crackdown on Muslims, but China does not accept the court’s jurisdiction.
Uighur exiles urged the International Criminal Court on Monday to investigate Beijing for genocide and crimes against humanity, the first-ever attempt to use international law to hold China’s ruling Communist Party accountable for its draconian crackdown on the Muslim minority.
A team of London-based lawyers representing two Uighur activist groups has filed a complaint against Beijing for pursuing the repatriation of thousands of Uighurs through unlawful arrests in or deportation from Cambodia and Tajikistan. The case could bring greater international scrutiny of the Chinese state’s power to impose its will beyond its borders. The lawyers’ 80-page filing includes a list of more than 30 Chinese officials they said were responsible for the campaign, including Xi Jinping, the Communist Party leader.
Mr. Xi’s policies over recent years have put Muslim minorities in China’s western region of Xinjiang under a pervasive net of surveillance, detention and social re-engineering. As many as one million ethnic Uighurs and members of other Muslim minorities have been held in internment camps in the region, drawing growing global condemnation.