A demonstrator wearing a mask painted with the colours of the flag of East Turkestan takes part in a protest by supporters of the Uighur minority at beyazid square in Istanbul. Photograph:( AFP )
In Xinjiang, more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities have been detained as per the United Nations
A London-based Tribunal has found China guilty of committing genocide against Uyghurs.
The Uyghur tribunal ruled that Chinese President Xi Jinping was ''primarily responsible'' for acts perpetrated against Muslim minority groups.
According to the tribunal's chairman, Geoffrey Nice, "The tribunal is satisfied that the PRC [People's Republic of China] has affected a deliberate, systematic and concerted policy with the object of so-called 'optimising' the population in Xinjiang by the means of a long-term reduction of Uyghur and other ethnic minority populations to be achieved through limiting and reducing Uyghur births."
Welcoming the final judgment of the tribunal, World Uyghur Congress (WUC) said, "This is a historic day for the Uyghur people."
"The verdict recognizing the Uyghur genocide by an independent body, which also provided the only venue for Uyghur and other survivors to speak and provide firsthand evidence to a quasi-judicial body, is a crucial step towards wider recognition by the international community," said WUC President, Dolkun Isa.
In Xinjiang, more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities have been detained as per the United Nations.
The Chinese embassy in London said the tribunal was a tool of China's enemies who were spreading lies.
It is "nothing but a political tool used by a few anti-China and separatist elements to deceive and mislead the public," an embassy spokesman said.
"Anyone with conscience and reason will not be deceived or fooled," the spokesman said.
China has slapped sanctions on the panel chair Geoffrey Nice, who prosecuted the former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes at the UN tribunal in The Hague.
The plight of the Uyghurs has contributed to worsening diplomatic relations between Western powers and Beijing, which denies any abuses.
In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide.
(With inputs from agencies)