Two major Uighur activist groups announced that they are preparing a genocide lawsuit against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Argentina because the federal courts of the South American country have already accepted more than one criminal complaint of universal jurisdiction. Even in one of them, a judge requested the arrest warrant for the former leader of the CCP.
The World Uighur Congress and the Uighur Human Rights Project announced on Monday, Dec. 14, that they are preparing the documentation to sue the Chinese regime for crimes against humanity in the federal courts of Argentina, taking into account that there have been at least two cases in which the Argentine justice system has tried crimes committed in other countries.
Both groups have dedicated themselves to documenting the abuses committed by the communist authorities in what is known as Xinjiang province, which the Uighurs call East Turkestan. They have concluded that Beijing is committing genocide against the Uighurs, an accusation asserted by former President Trump and the current Biden administration.
Although there are many legal barriers and little precedent, universal jurisprudence allows state courts in any country to try crimes against humanity regardless of where they occurred.
Last Nov. 29, the appeals court of the Argentine federal court decided to investigate the allegations of six women from the Rohingya ethnic group, a Muslim minority in Myanmar that was repressed by the army in 2017, and that the United Nations, which is also investigating the event, assures that the massacre is on the scale of genocide.
The six women witnesses, who escaped Myanmar and took refuge in Bangladesh, gave their testimonies virtually to the appeals court, the second appellate instance of Argentina’s judicial system.
Inspired by the decision of Argentina’s appeals court, and considering that the call to boycott the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games has failed, the two groups of Uighur activists decided to file their criminal complaints in the South American country.
In 2005, during the official visit of the former head of the Chinese Gestapo, Luo Gan, who was received by the then president of the Senate, Daniel Scioli in Argentina, the Falun Dafa Association filed a lawsuit and a request for the arrest of the repressor, taking advantage of the fact that he was within the Argentine jurisdiction.
Although the arrest request did not materialize, the federal court selected to review the complaint, decided to accept the case, and opened an investigation.
The judge at the time, Octavio Araoz de Lamadrid, spent four years investigating the genocide against Falun Dafa practitioners in China, and in 2009 asked Interpol for the international arrest of Luo Gan and the mastermind of the persecution, Jiang Zemin, for committing crimes against humanity.
Falun Gong remains the largest religious group persecuted in China, with its members describing atrocities committed by the CCP, such as live organ harvesting for profit.
However, despite the severity of the persecution, due to diplomatic pressure and in a clear violation of the separation of powers, where the foreign ministry requested the closure of the case, the warrant was effectively canceled, and the case closed during the 2010 judicial fair.
Nevertheless, in the second instance of appeal, the court that agreed to investigate the repression of the Rohingya ethnic group, the judges decided to reopen the case, which currently remains active.
But due to the fragility of the judicial system and political corruption, and considering that the current socialist government of Argentina has been a staunch supporter of the CCP, even if the federal courts accept the genocide case against the Uighurs, it is unlikely to move forward without encountering government interference.