The Uyghur human rights organization lost the legal battle. Latest UK headlines and events


A lawsuit against the British government on the grounds that the World Uyghur Congress, which defends the rights of Uyghurs, did not investigate the import of cotton produced in the Xinjiang region of China, was dismissed by a court in London.

The World Uyghur Congress, an international organization set up by Uyghur groups living in exile, has filed a lawsuit in the High Court in London against the British Home Office, Internal Revenue Service (HMRC) and the National Crime Agency.

In his written decision, Judge Yang Dove noted that the World Uyghur Congress rejected all of his legal grounds.

Uyghur rights groups have accused the Beijing government of repressing the Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority, who number about 10 million in China’s western region of Xinjiang. Among these practices is the forced labor of the masses in the camps. Beijing denies allegations of mistreatment of Uyghurs.

In the text of the decision, Judge Yang Dow wrote that “there is clear and undeniable evidence that cotton is produced through the forced labor of prisoners and convicts in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.”

However, Justice Dove noted that the UK Home Office’s approach to laws relating to goods produced in prisons abroad was “legally coherent” and held that the views of the Internal Revenue Service and the National Crime Agency on proceeds of crime law were correct.

In October, the World Uyghur Congress noted that the refusal of the UK Home Office to launch an investigation into the importation of goods produced in prisons abroad was wrong, while the HMRC tax office and the National Crime Agency did not investigate whether cotton , imported from Xinjiang, a “criminal commodity.” “.

Lawyers representing the British government argued that in order to investigate whether the goods were made in a prison of a foreign country, there must be a clear link between “alleged criminal acts and their specific goods”.

World Uyghur Congress President Dolun Isa said the court’s decision was “a big disappointment for the Uyghur community.”

A UK government spokesman said: “The government is committed to addressing the issue of Uyghur products being forced into their supply chains and serious steps are being taken in this regard.”

“Last year, we issued a new Xinjiang business risk guide and improved export controls. We welcome today’s decision,” the spokesman said.

A spokesman for the UK’s National Crime Agency said in a statement that the agency had assessed the data provided by the World Uyghur Congress and had decided “there is not enough data at this stage to initiate a criminal case.”

The statement also said the agency would “review the new data it receives and evaluate accordingly.”

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