50 Countries Condemn Human Rights Violations in Xinjiang

New York, MINA – 50 countries called on China to uphold its international human rights obligations, in a joint statement read out at a UN debate condemning abuses against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.

The statement, read out by Canada at the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee debate on Monday, expressed concern that China refused to discuss a UN Human Rights Office report that found the treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang may constitute a “crime against humanity”.

The report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has made “an important contribution to the evidence of serious and systematic human rights violations in China”, according to a joint statement as quoted by Al Jazeera.

“Given the severity of the OHCHR assessment, we are concerned that China has so far refused to discuss its findings,” the statement added.

Offenses in Xinjiang noted in the joint statement include mass detentions, surveillance based on ethnicity and religion, restrictions on cultural identity and religious practices, destruction of mosques and holy sites, enforced disappearances, forced labor, separation of families, and forced abortion and sterilization.

“Such gross and systematic human rights violations cannot be justified on the basis of counterterrorism,” the countries said in their statement.

China should fully implement the recommendations in the OHCHR report, the statement added, including the release of those arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and also clarifying the location of those who are still missing and facilitating contact with families.

Dai Bing, Chargé of China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, described the expressed concern over the human rights situation in Xinjiang as Western “hype” designed to “contain” China.

“Xinjiang is just a facade, behind which lies their real intention, which is to use Xinjiang to contain China and maintain their hegemony,” Dai said, according to state media organization China Central Television (CCTV).

“Today, it is China who is the target of criticism of their punishment. Tomorrow, it will be another developing country targeted by them,” he said. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)