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Medical involvement in crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: (Published 17 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o44
  1. Julian Sheather, specialist adviser in ethics and human rights1,
  2. Steve Tsang, director2,
  3. Zoe Greaves, chair of BMA ethics committee1
  1. 1BMA, London, UK
  2. 2SOAS China Institute, University of London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: J Sheather JSheather{at}

The profession must act on the findings of the people’s tribunal

In December 2021, the people’s tribunal,1 an unofficial tribunal based in the UK, delivered its judgment following an investigation into “ongoing atrocities and possible genocide” against the Uyghur, Kazakh, and other Turkic Muslim populations in the People’s Republic of China.1 After taking evidence from multiple independent first hand witnesses, the tribunal found proof beyond reasonable doubt that China has committed, and continues to commit, serious, sustained, and intentional violations of human rights and breaches of international law.

On the legally complex question of genocide, the tribunal was satisfied, again beyond reasonable doubt, that China, “by the imposition of measures to prevent births intended to destroy a significant part of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang as such, has committed genocide.”1 However, it found no evidence of mass killing. In the absence of such evidence, the tribunal, despite holding that China had committed genocide, did not want to divert attention from the …

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