Liberal Democrats

F14: The Uyghur Genocide

Motion as passed by conference

Submitted by: Young Liberals

Mover: Peter Banks.

Summation: Andrew Lawless.


Conference notes that:

  1. There have been eyewitness reports and footage of the widespread human rights violations against Uyghurs by the People's Republic of China in the province of Xinjiang.
  2. These violations include forced sterilisation, torture, restrictions on childrens' names, destruction of religious sites, forced separation of families, and detainment in re-education camps.
  3. The most recent figures from Adrian Zenz, senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, suggest that over 1.5 million Uyghurs have been forcibly detained in internment camps, with a further half a million children indefinitely separated from their parents in re-education 'schools'.
  4. Disturbing accounts of the aforementioned re-education camps have been released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in the China Cables.
  5. The Sanctions and anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 includes gross human rights violations as grounds for imposing sanctions on a person or an entity.
  6. In July 2020, the UK government introduced Magnitsky-style sanctions under this legislation on specific nationals of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Myanmar as well as on two organisations involved with North Korean gulags.
  7. li>The Liberal Democrats have a proud history of supporting the rights of oppressed minority groups around the world.

Conference notes with great concern the recent atrocities committed in Xinjiang, namely:

  1. The systemic use of forced sterilisation, forced abortion and involuntary admission of intrauterine devices on Uyghur women by the Chinese state in order to lower the birth rate in the Uyghur population.
  2. The harrowing testimonies of interned Uyghurs recently published in a report by Amnesty International which documents that:
    1. Detained Uyghurs are physically punished if they speak a language other than Mandarin.
    2. Physical and non-physical torture is used against detained Uyghurs.
    3. All detained Uyghurs are subject to non-stop surveillance, depriving them of any privacy.
    4. Uyghurs outside of re-education camps are subject to intense surveillance, with the use of facial recognition, the collection of biometric data and invasive interviews by government officials.

Conference welcomes:

  1. The work of Alistair Carmichael MP, as Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Uyghurs, calling for:
    1. Recognition of the actions taken against the Uyghurs as a genocide.
    2. Sanctions in response to the persecution of Uyghurs.
  2. Votes taken in Parliament to declare that China is committing a genocide against the Uyghurs.
  3. Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, explicitly calling actions of the Chinese government in Xinjiang a genocide.

Conference believes that:

  1. The Chinese government's actions in Xinjiang constitute a genocide, based on the description of genocide as laid out in Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  2. The deliberate, systemic persecution of, and violence against, the Uyghur population of China well surpasses the definition of gross human rights violations and thus meets the standard for imposing sanctions on persons or entities under the Sanctions and anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.
  3. The UK Government has a moral duty to take actions to oppose human rights abuses.

Conference therefore calls on both the UK Government and the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party to be explicit in their condemnation of the actions of the Chinese state as being that of a genocide.

Conference further calls on the UK Government to:

  1. Introduce Magnitsky-style sanctions on persons and entities involved with the persecution of Uyghurs under the Sanctions and anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.
  2. Call upon the Chinese government to cease the systemic mass incarceration of the Uyghurs.
  3. Grant asylum to Uyghurs fleeing persecution.
  4. Call for the reunification of all families where children have been forcibly entered in re-education camps.
  5. Boycott the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, unless and until the Chinese government ceases its crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.

Applicability: Federal.