WASHINGTON - A criminal complaint has been filed accusing Chinese officials of the genocide of Uyghurs and other minority groups, writes NEWSWEEK.

Lawyers for the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) submitted the complaint in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on August 17.

They allege that the Chinese government has committed crimes against humanity targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in the Xinjiang province. Beijing's "re-education" policies in the northwestern province have been the subject of international scrutiny for several years.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was signed by President Joe Biden last December. In April a State Department report said more than 1 million Uyghurs and members of mainly Muslim groups had been arbitrarily imprisoned and subjected to forced sterilization, coerced abortions and rape.

Under Argentina's constitution, courts in the South American country have jurisdiction for international crimes, such as genocide, regardless of where they take place.The submission is the first stage of the process. Next, an appointed judge will consider the complaint and determine whether to open a case.

If the judge opens a case against Chinese officials, the Uyghur groups' lawyers have said they will submit evidence of genocide, crimes against humanity and torture.