Human rights activist: Investigation into Uyghur atrocities 'cannot be ignored'

6 September 2020, 14:19 | Updated: 6 September 2020, 14:21

By Seán Hickey

An adviser to the World Uyghur Congress branded the western world's lack of intervention against the atrocities committed against the Uyghur people 'a scandal.'

Luke De Pulford joined Maajid Nawaz to reveal plans to initiate a tribunal investigating the atrocities committed against Uyghur Muslims in China, and whether they can be classed as genocide.

"Governments around the world are defaulting on their obligations under the genocide convention - to protect, preserve and to punish genocide wherever it occurs," and the Founder of the Coalition for Genocide Response told Maajid "that isn't good enough."

Maajid wondered "if this does conclude that a genocide is indeed happening, A: will it have a legal effect in Britain; and B: if not, what do you intend to do about that?"

"This tribunal will not bind the UK," said Mr De Pulford. "It's down to us as campaigners and it's down to politicians who care about this to hand this down to the media to say look, this is a credible piece of work, the government cannot ignore it."

The adviser to the World Uyghur Congress told Maajid that "what civil society will do is they'll make damn sure the government will listen to the results," rather than letting the investigation fade away.

The tribunal is to determine whether the atrocities committed against Uyghurs can be classified as genocide
The tribunal is to determine whether the atrocities committed against Uyghurs can be classified as genocide. Picture: PA

"This is a rigorous piece of work," he assured Maajid and said the action is needed.

"I think that we have now a level of evidence around this which really warrants proper interrogation," said Mr De Pulford, adding that "it's a scandal that it hasn't happened already."

"People are dying now. We can't wait until the end of next year."