WATCH: BBC Click's Marc Cieslak views the 3D virtual reality model of Auschwitz II-BirkenauOn 20 November, 1945 the Nuremberg trials began - the military tribunals called to prosecute Nazi war criminals closely involved in the Holocaust.Now, 71 years later, that work continues through the Bavarian State criminal office LKA in Munich, that has created a virtual reality version of the Auschwitz concentration camp to assist with the continued prosecutions.Initially the model was created to be viewed on a computer monitor, but it has now been adapted so that once the viewer puts on a VR headset they can examine the camp from almost any angle.In order for Ralf's model to be useful in court it had to be as accurate as possible.The VR version of Auschwitz is yet to be used in court, however, the 3D computer model was used in the most recent war crimes prosecution of wartime SS camp guard Reinhold Hanning.
The headlines emerging from Xinjiang, China over the last couple of years have been depressingly and hauntingly consistent. Over a million Uyghurs in internment camps, slave labour being used to pick cotton, state organised violation and abuse of women, forced sterilisations and a mass campaign of oppression and incarceration of children and adults at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).We have heard survivors give testimony, describing systemic rape, forced abortions and people having contraceptive devices implanted against their will in detention. We have the CCP’s own data that shows sterilisation rates have risen seven-fold in Xinjiang between 2016 and 2018, and we can see that in 2018, 80% of all IUD insertions in China were performed in Xinjiang despite the region accounting for just 1.8% of China’s population.We know the CCP is implementing deliberate, targeted policies to humiliate and destroy the Uyghurs – because they have said as much. Leaked party speeches reveal President Xi Jinping told his officials to “show absolutely no mercy” using the “weapons of… dictatorship” to crush Uyghurs in Xinjiang.We are witnessing the largest mass incarceration of a minority since the Second World War – and when accompanied with the clear intent to deliberately destroy language, culture, faith, families and reproduction, it meets the very high bar for genocide. Today, Parliament has a chance to discuss, assess and make that determination too.
China's attempt to intimidate my colleagues – and by extension Parliament – into silence has backfired.
Genocide is the crime of all crimes, and the term must not be used inaccurately, of course. The responsibility to declare it has traditionally fallen to the International Criminal Court (ICC); the UK government says it can only define an incident as a genocide if this has been determined by the ICC.Unfortunately, the only way anything gets to the ICC is if the UN Security Council sends it there, and China has the power to veto anything that the UN Security Council does. That’s why our capacity to respond to genocide is so fatally flawed – and why we so desperately need to end this paralysis. For shining a spotlight on the state orchestrated enslavement of the Uyghur in Xinjiang I was one of five MPs sanctioned by the CCP. My crimes? Leading on the Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill – which looked to stop the UK seeking preferential trade agreements with countries committing genocide– and leading the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Report which exposed Uyghur slave labour in UK supply chains and security vulnerabilities.These sanctions show how little the CCP understands how democratically elected MPs work, and how weak the CCP is when challenged. Its attempt to intimidate my colleagues – and by extension Parliament – into silence has backfired. Along with the prime minister, parliamentarians from all parties and across the world have got in touch to offer solidarity and work with us to protect our democracies and the Uyghur.Now Parliament has a chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with our international allies, with the Uyghur people and with all those who have been sanctioned for collating, assessing or discussing the mounting evidence against the CCP. We should all be clear that we will never be cowed from doing our jobs, and will remain free from foreign interference. This is at the heart of our hard-won parliamentary democracy.
We now have a chance to put that right and prove we mean it when we say “never again”.
On Thursday, I will be leading a debate in the chamber on the motion “That this House believes that Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are suffering Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide. And calls upon the Government to act to fulfil their obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and all relevant instruments of international law to bring it to an end.”If Parliament passes the motion, it will leave the government no room for doubt about the will of the elected House. In doing so, we would join three other countries – Canada, the United States and the Netherlands – who have already declared in some form the situation in Xinjiang to be that of genocide. Frustrated with the UN, governments and parliaments around the world are waking up to the need to hold China to account for the horrific human rights abuses taking place in Xinjiang.The UK has started a new chapter in its history outside the EU. It’s of paramount importance that we show we will not be cowed by China, don’t ignore the failure of the UN and that we demonstrate the values “Global Britain” wants to live up to.In the 75 years since the Nuremberg trials, the UK and the UN have never succeeded in recognising a genocide while it was ongoing. We now have a chance to put that right and prove we mean it when we say “never again”.Nusrat Ghani is the Conservative MP for Wealden. Follow her on Twitter at @Nus_GhaniRelated...Raab 'Sneaks Out' Announcement Slashing Aid For Girls' EducationYoung Volunteers Who Have Had Covid To Be Paid £5k For Being Re-Exposed To Virus‘My Strength And Stay’: Remembering Prince Philip’s Life As The Queen’s Consort
The Metropolitan Police are investigating after an anti-vaxxer used a rally in Trafalgar Square to talk about doctors and nurses being “hung” like Nazis.Both Boris Johnson and Labour’s Keir Starmer condemned the remarks by former nurse Kate Shemirani after she used the protest to ask for details of NHS staff to be collected and sent to her.The rant by Shemirani, who has built a social media following for her anti-lockdown and anti-vaxx views, was referred to the police by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.In her speech to the crowd, she referred to the Nuremberg Trials, which took place after World War Two to prosecute prominent members of the Nazi regime for their role in the Holocaust and other war crimes.“At the Nuremberg Trials, the doctors and nurses stood trial and they hung,” Shemirani said.“If you are a doctor or a nurse, now is the time to get off that bus. Get off it and stand with us, the people, all around the world they are rising.”A spokesperson for the Met Police told HuffPost UK: “We are aware of video circulating online showing a speech that occurred during a rally in Trafalgar Square.“Officers are carrying out enquiries to establish whether any offences have been committed. No arrests have been made.”Shemirani was struck off as a nurse for spreading misinformation about Covid-19.Dear @SadiqKhanSeveral of us are keen to report the individual in this video to the Prevent Radical Extremism programme. Might you direct us to the appropriate local contact for Trafalgar Square? https://t.co/4jIfGLqafV— Trisha Greenhalgh (@trishgreenhalgh) July 24, 2021This is utterly appalling, and I have raised it directly with the Met Police. Our NHS staff are the heroes of this pandemic and Londoners from across this city roundly reject this hate.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) July 24, 2021Earlier, a spokesperson for the PM said that the issue was a matter for the police and prosecutors but said: “The prime minister absolutely condemns those comments.“Doctors and nurses have done a truly heroic job throughout this pandemic and continue to do so. Any violence, threats or intimidation is completely unacceptable.”When asked by LBC whether the remarks constituted a crime, Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions, said: “Yeah.“I do hope it’s going to be investigated and dealt with appropriately, but it was absolutely shocking.“And some of the things that are said and done, in the names of some of these protests, I think are an affront to all of us that believe in everything the NHS and the frontline are doing.“The Royal College of Nursing said the incident was “reprehensible and could put nursing staff at risk”.Many NHS staff have been alarmed by the footage circulated online, and the Mayor of London tweeted that the incident was “utterly appalling”Shemirani was suspended from practising as a nurse by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in May this year, and struck off in June.The NMC said she had “been using her status as a registered nurse as a way of promoting her own distorted version of the truth” and risked “putting the public at a significant risk of harm during a pandemic”.In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Shemirani’s son Sebastian said that the authorities had to take action on the incident."My mum is definitely beyond help... It's impossible to talk to somebody when they've got that level of God complex"Sebastian Shemirani. His mother is former nurse Kate Shemarani whose speech at a protest event has been condemned by nursing leadershttps://t.co/PvfwQrUZrzpic.twitter.com/bUSAqEECnL— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) July 26, 2021Sebastian, who said he no longer has a relationship with his mother because of her beliefs in conspiracy theories, said she had mental health issues and “a God complex”.“My mum is definitely beyond help... It’s impossible to talk to somebody when they’ve got that level of God complex.Related...2 Reasons Why Covid Cases Are Down In The UKHere's What The Coronavirus R Rate Is Near YouJust Because Vaccinated People Are Getting Covid Doesn't Mean The Jabs Don't Work