A group representing the Uyghur people is asking the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring charges against Chinese President Xi Jinping after the court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We call on the International Criminal Court to act and hold Chinese leader Xi Jinping accountable for the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples,” Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan government said in exile in a press release on Saturday. .
“The International Criminal Court must uphold justice and fulfill its commitment to ‘Never Again’ by investigating the ongoing genocide and arresting Xi Jinping for his direct role in this Holocaust-like genocide in the 21st century.”
The press release echoes what government officials around the world and pro-Uyghur activists have been saying for years about China’s “ongoing campaign of mass internment, forced labor, forced sterilization and forced family separation against ethnic Turkic groups in East Turkistan, which has officially been”. designated as genocide by the US government and the parliaments of nearly a dozen Western nations as of 2021.”
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The press release comes the same week that the ICC issued an arrest warrant against Putin and Russian official Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova for their alleged involvement in war crimes during the invasion of Ukraine.
The ICC said Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (children) and illegal transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed the arrest warrant shortly after it was issued.
“Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has no obligations under it,” Zakharova said. “Russia is not cooperating with this body, and any possible ‘warrants’ for arrest from the International Court of Justice will be legally null and void for us.”
The exiled Uyghur press release describes similar allegations of forced deportations of ethnic Turks.
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“In June 2021, lawyers representing ETGE and ETNM presented additional evidence to the ICC that the Chinese government is implementing a policy of rounding up Uighurs and other ethnically Turkish people from outside China, including states ICC members such as neighboring Tajikistan, and forcibly deporting them back to East Turkistan (“Xinjiang”), where they are subjected to acts of genocide and crimes against humanity,” the press release said.
“New evidence revealed that more than 3,000 Uyghurs had been forcibly deported from Tajikistan and another 4,000 from Kyrgyzstan.”
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In addition, the press release states that more than 3 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic people have been placed in internment camps and that more than 880,500 Uyghur and other Turkic children have been forcibly separated from their families
Fox News Digital reached out to the US Consulate in China and the ICC for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
“The ICC is currently considering all the evidence we have submitted to decide whether to open an ICC investigation,” Hudayar told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“We are in contact with the Prosecutor’s Office about the evidence presented and ask that the prosecutor act without delay to open an ICC investigation and hold those responsible to account.”
Xi is scheduled to fly to Russia next week to meet Putin for a meeting where the Kremlin says the two leaders will discuss “issues of developing the comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China.”