A group representing the Uyghur people is asking the International Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue 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 take action 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 Turkestan government-in-exile said in a press release on Saturday. .
“The International Criminal Court must uphold justice and fulfill its ‘Never Again’ commitment 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 regarding China’s “ongoing campaign of mass internment, forced labor, forced sterilization and enforced family separation against ethnic Turks in East Turkestan, which has been officially designated a genocide by the US government and the parliaments of nearly a dozen Western nations since 2021.”
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The press release comes the same week as the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest for Putin and Russian official Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova for their alleged involvement in war crimes during the invasion of Ukraine.
The ICC said that 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 rejected the arrest warrant shortly after it was issued.
“Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC and has no obligations under it,” Zakharova said. “Russia does not cooperate with this body and possible ‘prescriptions’ for arrest coming from the International Court of Justice will be legally null and void for us.”
The exiled Uyghurs press release outlines similar allegations of forced deportations of ethnic Turks.
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“In June 2021, lawyers representing the ETGE and ETNM presented to the ICC further evidence that the Chinese government is implementing a policy of rounding up Uyghurs and other ethnic Turks outside China, including Member States of the ICC such as neighboring Tajikistan, and forced deportation back to East Turkestan (“Xinjiang”), where they are subjected to acts of genocide and crimes against humanity,” the press release read.
“The new evidence showed that more than 3,000 Uyghurs were forcibly deported from Tajikistan with another 4,000 from Kyrgyzstan.”
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Furthermore, the press release states that more than 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turks have been held in internment camps and that more than 880,500 Uyghur and other Turkish children were forcibly separated from their families.
Fox News Digital reached out to the US Chinese consulate and the ICC for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
“The ICC is currently evaluating all the evidence we have presented to decide on opening an ICC investigation,” Hudayar told Fox News Digital in a statement.
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“We are in contact with the Prosecutor’s Office regarding the evidence presented and request that the Prosecutor take immediate action to launch an ICC investigation and hold those responsible accountable.”
Xi is expected to fly to Russia next week to meet Putin for a meeting where the Kremlin says the two leaders will discuss “issues of further developing a comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China”.