Lawyer asks to prosecute Xinjiang governor in the UK | UK news

A lawyer representing a Kazakh man who has alleged severe human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese state has requested permission from the UK attorney general to prosecute a Xinjiang governor expected to arrive in Britain on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Office shocked cross-party opponents of the Chinese treatment of Uyghur people and other Turkic groups who called it “incomprehensible” that the Xinjiang governor, Erkin Tuniyaz – who has been sanctioned by the US – is planning to visit the UK next week.

Tuniyaz, whom MPs allege has played “a central role in the persecution of Uyghurs”, also plans to make trips to other European countries to meet “stakeholders” to “discuss the situation in Xinjiang”, according to an email from the Foreign Office.

The prosecution request over Tuniyaz’s role in alleged human rights violations perpetrated against Uyghur people and other Turkic groups in China over the crime of torture was made by the barrister Michael Polak on behalf of Erbakit Otarbay, a Kazakh camp survivor now living in the UK. Polak sent the request to the attorney general late on Wednesday night and hopes to receive a response later on Thursday.

“Because the client is in the United Kingdom and an alleged victim of torture, he’s entitled to bring a case against Mr Tuniyaz,” said Polak. “Of course, Mr Tuniyaz is entitled to a fair trial … and he can reject or fight the allegations.”

In 2021, Ortabay submitted a statement to the Uyghur Tribunal, an independent and unofficial tribunal that found Uyghur people living in Xinjiang province had been subjected to crimes against humanity directed by the Chinese state.

In May 2017, Ortabay said his passport was confiscated by Chinese authorities on his way back to visit his father in China. He emigrated to Kazakhstan with his family

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