Saturday, 20 July, 2019


Nations urge China to close Uighur detention camps

Demonstrators in New York hold placards during the rally to support the Uighur community in China Read more Concern grows for missing Uighur comedian
Bennie Garza | 11 July, 2019, 22:01

Top UN officials including Michelle Bachelet have called for the global body to be given access to the camps to investigate allegations of human rights abuses. Countries like Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand brought attention towards the mass detention in Xinjiang Province of China.

"The Chinese side expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition", Geng said, adding that China had registered "solemn complaints" with the countries involved.

Activists had sought a formal resolution at the Council, but some analysts say the move was the only available option to spotlight the Uighur plight at the forum.

The detentions are created to eradicate their religious and ethnic identities, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing diplomats and letters.

The text included concern about 'credible reports of arbitrary detention.as well as widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly targeting Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang'.

Geng said Xinjiang had not had a terrorist incident for more than two years due to a series of anti-terrorism and de-extremization measures, including the establishment of vocational education and training centers, and people of all ethnic groups had sincerely supported the government's policy.

United Nations experts and rights groups say China is holding about one million Uighurs and other Muslims in detention camps.

"We call on China to uphold its national laws and global obligations and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief in Xinjiang and across China", the letter said.

It pointedly cites China's obligations as a member of the 47-member state forum to maintain the highest standards.

Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on July 5 issued a statement urging the US government to "urgently address what is one of the world's worst human rights situations".

They urge China to stop detaining minorities and grant them "freedom of movement" within their communities.

China's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva said last month that he hoped Bachelet would take up an invitation to visit.

FILE PHOTO: An ethnic Uighur woman carries a metal rod as she walks down a main road in the city of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, July 10, 2019.

He said the Trump administration's withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council over the panel's criticism of Israel was a "very shortsighted decision".

At the start of the three-week session, which ends on Friday, the Xinjiang vice-governor responded to worldwide condemnation of state-run detention camps by saying that they were vocational centers which had helped "save" people from extremist influences.

China had now effectively contained terrorism and religious extremism in Xinjiang, Vice-Governor Erkin Tuniyaz told the council in an appearance that was sharply criticized by the United States.

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