Dozens of nations query China at UN over Xinjiang ‘abuses’ | Uighur Information

Dozens of nations have voiced concern about alleged abuses in China’s far western Xinjiang area, and demanded that the United Nations rights chief publish a long-delayed report on the scenario there.

“We proceed to be gravely involved concerning the human rights scenario in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Area,” Paul Bekkers, the Dutch ambassador to the UN in Geneva, instructed the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Delivering a joint assertion on behalf of 47 international locations, Bekkers pointed to numerous “credible stories” indicating that a couple of million Uighurs and different Muslim minorities have been arbitrarily detained. Beijing has admitted that there are camps however that they’re “vocational expertise coaching centres” and essential to sort out “extremism”.

“There are stories of ongoing widespread surveillance, discrimination in opposition to Uighurs and different individuals belonging to minorities,” he mentioned.

The joint assertion additionally voiced concern about “stories of torture and different merciless, inhuman or degrading remedy or punishment, pressured sterilization, sexual and gender-based violence, pressured labour, and compelled separation of youngsters from their mother and father by authorities”.

The international locations involved, Bekkers mentioned, “repeat our name on China to urgently deal with these considerations”, and to “finish the arbitrary detention of Muslim Uighurs and individuals belonging to different minorities”.

The group additionally referred to as on Beijing to offer UN investigators and consultants “significant and unfettered entry” to independently observe the scenario on the bottom in Xinjiang.

After months demanding “unfettered entry” to Xinjiang, UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet lastly visited China final month – the primary go to by a UN rights chief to the nation in 17 years.

However she confronted harsh criticism for not talking up extra forcefully in opposition to China’s alleged abuses previous to and through the journey, which is believed to have been closely managed by Chinese language authorities.

In Tuesday’s joint assertion, the international locations requested for “extra detailed observations, together with on the restrictions the Chinese language authorities imposed on the go to” by Bachelet.

‘Political manipulation’

China’s Ambassador Chen Xu reacted angrily to the joint assertion, condemning the Netherlands and the opposite signatories for spreading what it mentioned had been “lies and rumors to assault China”.

“We categorically reject these allegations,” he mentioned, accusing the international locations behind the assertion of “hypocrisy” and “makes an attempt to interact in political manipulation”.

He hailed Bachelet’s go to, insisting it had “enhanced her understanding of China’s path of human rights improvement”.

The UN rights chief has confronted rising strain to launch her long-delayed report on Xinjiang, which diplomats say has been prepared for months.

Bachelet, who introduced on Monday that she is not going to be looking for a second time period, has promised that the report can be revealed earlier than she steps down on August 31.

Tuesday’s joint assertion urged the report’s “immediate launch”, and requested Bachelet to offer “additional info on the timeline”.

Lecturers specializing in Xinjiang, who referred to as on the UN to research the camps again in 2018, have additionally criticized Bachelet over her go to to China, and urged her to publish the report as quickly as attainable.

“Whereas we disagree on some questions of why Beijing is enacting its atrocities in Xinjiang, we’re unanimous in our understanding of what it’s that the Chinese language state is doing on the bottom,” the 40 lecturers mentioned in open letter revealed final week.

It continued: “This extraordinary consensus is a results of the unprecedented amount of proof that the Chinese language state has offered in its personal paperwork, a few of them leaked however most of them publicly launched on the Chinese language web. This proof, complemented by survivor testimonies and satellite tv for pc imagery, gives an in depth image of what could be credibly referred to as a genocidal program.”

Watchtowers on a high-security facility close to what’s believed to be a re-education camp for the largely Muslim Uighurs on the outskirts of Hotan, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang area [File: Greg Baker/AFP]

Chen, in the meantime, decried the “hyped-up so-called report on Xinjiang”, mentioning that it had not been ordered by the UN’s rights council, alleging it violated Bachelet’s mandate and “shouldn’t be revealed in any respect”.

Whereas an extended line of nations that took the ground individually on Tuesday echoed the criticisms within the joint assertion, some additionally got here to China’s defence, with Belarus, Cuba and North Korea additionally insisting the report shouldn’t be revealed.

Venezuela’s Ambassador Hector Fixed Rosales agreed and claimed there was “a sustained marketing campaign of pretend information in opposition to Xinjiang and China”.

The United Nations first revealed the detention of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang in late 2018, with Amnesty Worldwide later accusing Beijing of making a “dystopian hellscape” within the area.

China says this system has been wound down.

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