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UK GOVERNMENT SCUPPERS GENOCIDE TRADE AMENDMENT

Interviews with Premier Radio and Bob Fu of China Aid

China has been accused of genocide over the rounding up of the Uyghur people

Moves to allow the UK High Court to rule on whether genocide was being carried out by China against the Uyghur people have been narrowly headed off by the government.

Had the measure succeeded, it could have mandated the government to link the human rights record of China and other countries suspected of genocide with trade deals.

MPs were seeking to hold countries responsible for the deliberate destruction of people groups. 

They were seeking to insert a clause in a trade Bill that would have mandated the British High Court to rule on whether those nations were committing genocide.

Rounded up

The target of the measure was China, which has been accused of genocide against the Uyghur people. It’s claimed that upwards of a million Uyghurs have been rounded up into camps in Xinjiang province. Some put the figures as high as 1.8 million.

Earlier, the US State Department determined that China had indeed committed genocide against the Uyghurs and was responsible for crimes against humanity. 

The UK government employed a procedural device to defeat the ‘genocide’ clause on Feb 9. Ministers argued it would be ‘inappropriate’ to ‘give away’ the powers of Parliament to the High Court. 

Genocide call

But MPs calling for change maintained the genocide call would actually give Britain more power to determine whether genocide had taken place.

That decision is currently the mandate of the International Criminal Court – over which China has the power of veto. So inserting a genocide clause into British law would allow Britain to have a greater say via the High Court.

Ahead of the vote, Tola Mbakwe of Premier Radio asked Andrew Boyd of Release International about the significance of the move, which would have freed the UK to make its own ruling about whether genocide was taking place…

Alimujiang before his arrest in 2008

China’s communist government has been clamping down on religious freedom across the country, which has had an impact on both state-sanctioned and underground churches.

There are thought to be up to 1,000 Christians among the Uyghurs, including Alimujiang Yimiti, who was arrested in 2008.

Release International partner, Bob Fu of China Aid, said the persecution of those Uyghur Christians is even harsher than that meted out to Muslims. 

He described their plight, and that of Alimujiang Yimiti, to Andrew Boyd, in this interview in 2019…

Updated 10.2.2021

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