Renowned British lawyer Sir Geoffrey Nice announced the formation of an independent tribunal on Thursday, Sept. 3, to investigate serious allegations of human rights violations against Uighur Muslim communities in northeast China’s Xinjiang region.

The investigation, which points to abuses perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), documented since 2017, will be led by Nice through several hearings in which new evidence and testimonies about abuses against the Uighur Muslims will be reviewed.

Allegations of genocide against Uighurs and other human rights violations committed by the CCP against the Uighur community are “questions that must be asked and answered,” Nice told The Associated Press on Thursday.

As Fox News pointed out, reports indicate that the World Uighur Congress asked Nice to investigate “the ongoing atrocities and possible genocide” of the Uighurs bearing in mind Nice’s record in international cases such as the investigation it addressed into the atrocities committed by the former president of Yugoslavia or the genocide in Bosnia committed during the Yugoslav Wars in the early 1990s.

The Chinese Communist Party—a scourge

Last year Nice also led a UK-based independent panel of experts on China to review evidence and allegations of massive forced organ removal by the CCP against practitioners of the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, perpetrated from 1999 to the present.

“The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason,” concluded the court, which by then questioned whether such a scourge also occurred with Uighur Muslims, noting that they were vulnerable to “being used as a bank of organs,” The Independent reported.

For now, the court’s efforts are focused on collecting evidence and testimony from Uighurs who have gone into exile abroad. The first testimonies about the security guards who worked in the Xinjiang detention camps could be released in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in London has not given any pronouncement on the implementation of the Uighur Tribunal, and likewise, Chinese officials have refuted the accusations.

In a recent interview, Shohrat Zakir, a senior Chinese official, claimed that detainees in the “re-education camps” had “graduated” and found work.

Disloyalty to the CCP

However, as a Human Rights Watch report pointed out, living life as a Turkish Muslim is punishable. Their religious, linguistic, and cultural differences are considered evidence of disloyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.

Other research suggests that Uighur minority communities are subject to modern-day slavery, while women are subject to forced sterilization. While these are crimes against humanity, the international community has, for the most part, remained silent enabling the atrocities to continue, Forbes reported.

An estimated 1 million Uighurs have been detained in recent years in Xinjiang.

Last July, the United States condemned human rights abuses against this minority and urged the international community to do the same. 

“The Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China, against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities rank as the stain of the century,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“The Trump administration has led the world’s effort to impose tangible costs on the PRC’s [CCP’s] continuous campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, intrusive surveillance, forced labor, forced population control, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted at these groups,” he added.