UN: Joint Call for China to End Xinjiang Abuses
(Geneva): Twenty-two countries at the United Nations’ top human rights body issued a joint statement recently, urging China to end its mass arbitrary detentions and related violations against Muslims in the Xinjiang region, Human Rights Watch said. In their unprecedented move, the countries also called on China to cooperate with the UN high commissioner for human rights and UN experts to allow meaningful access to the region.
“Twenty-two states have called China to task for its horrific treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang,” said John Fisher, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch. “The joint statement is important not only for Xinjiang’s population, but for people around the world who depend on the UN’s leading rights body to hold even the most powerful countries to account.”
In recent years, human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, and the media have reported on “political education” camps in Xinjiang, in which approximately 1 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims are detained without any legal process, and subjected to political indoctrination, ill-treatment, and sometimes torture. Chinese authorities have deployed extraordinary surveillance technologies to track – and treat as criminal a wide variety of lawful behavior. The government has either denied that the abuses are taking place or tried to justify its conduct as part of a national counter terrorism strategy.
The previous joint statement on China at the HRC was led by the United States in March 2016 with 12 signatories. That nearly double the number of countries have joined the current effort reflects growing international concern over the situation in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said. The signatories so far are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
“Governments are increasingly recognizing the suffering of millions of people in Xinjiang, with families torn apart and living in fear, and a Chinese state that believes it can commit mass violations uncontested,” Fisher said. “The joint statement demonstrates that Beijing is wrong to think it can escape international scrutiny for its abuses in Xinjiang, and the pressure will only increase until these appalling abuses end.”
(Extracted from hrw.org)