IPAC Newsletter 21 May 2021

The Belgian Parliament heard evidence from IPAC Co-Chair Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, who called on Belgium to recognise the Chinese government’s persecution of Uyghurs as a Genocide. Samuel Cogolati MP, leader of the parliamentary inquiry, summarised the key moments in the hearing here.

European Parliament
MEPs voted to freeze ratification of the EU-China CAI investment deal until the Chinese government lifts sanctions on EU citizens, including four IPAC parliamentarians. The motion was co-authored by IPAC MEPs Hilde Vautmans, Engin Eroglu, Reinhard Bütikofer, Miriam Lexmann and Anna Fotyga. The motion reiterated demands for EU Member States to suspend extradition treaties with China and Hong Kong to protect groups fleeing persecution. 

The Bundestag Human Rights Committee, led by IPAC Members Margarete Bause, Gyde Jensen and Michael Brand, held a hearing on the classification of suspected international atrocity crimes in Xinjiang. IPAC advisers Eva Pils and Adrian Zenz were among experts giving evidence, with Zenz warning of a “creeping genocide” against Uyghurs.

A Bundestag research paper commissioned by Margarete Bause MdB concluded that the persecution of Uyghurs fulfilled all five objective elements of the UN Genocide Convention and finds evidence of an intent to destroy Uyghur identity and culture. The paper also warns that German companies will likely have to end their business activities in China’s western region of Xinjiang or face fines under new supply chain legislation.

The Lithuanian Seimas becomes the latest to recognize a genocide against Uyghurs, following declarations from the US State Department and British, Canadian and Dutch parliaments. The resolution, led by IPAC Co-Chair Dovilė Šakalienė, followed a parliamentary hearing with contributions from legal experts. Full story here.

United Kingdom
IPAC member Lord David Alton called on the UK government to back reform to the veto held by permanent members of the UN Security Council, arguing that the Chinese government had blocked attempts to investigate atrocities in Xinjiang and Myanmar.