Concerns regarding China’s human rights violations in the Xinjiang region have been raised by the United Nations in its recent report.
A high-level United Nations panel has criticised China’s human rights abuses committed in western Xinjiang regions.
China has been committing human rights violations using “severe and undue restrictions” that are “characterised by a discriminatory component, as the underlying acts often directly or indirectly affect Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities,” Bangkok Post reported. The presentation, “The situation of Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang,” comes after the report issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
In the report, the OHCHR found evidence of patterns of torture, forced medical treatments, forced labour, incidents of sexual and gender-based violence, violations of reproductive rights and the destruction of religious sites.
In addition, the report highlighted the use of detention and re-education camps for more than a million residents. “In 2017, reports began to emerge of severe restrictions on the freedoms of religion or belief, movement, association and expression in Xinjiang, China. Over the past few years, numerous open source reports corroborated these accounts,” Bangkok Post cited the panel as saying in the statement. Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, while speaking in the context of the OHCHR report released in August expressed views regarding “crimes against humanity” and listed “sterilisation, forced abortion” among crimes.
After the release of OHCHR’s report, US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “The long-awaited United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights report on Xinjiang laid out the PRC’s human rights violations in horrifying detail: Forced confessions and stringent sentences for baseless charges; discriminatory detainment based on ethnic, religious, cultural identity and expression; cruel, inhumane, degrading punishment.”
Linda Thomas-Greenfield further said that these findings leave no room for doubt that China has committed “gross violations of human rights” and their actions are “crimes against humanity.” She asserted that the US will continue to shed light on genocide and crimes committed by China against humanity, Uyghurs and members of other religious and minority groups in Xinjiang.
“The United States will continue to shine a light on the PRC’s genocide and crimes against humanity, against Uyghurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang. We will continue to push the PRC to fully implement the UN High Commissioner’s recommendations,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “We will continue to stand with Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, and hold perpetrators accountable,” she added.
Jewher Ilham, a noted Uyghur Rights Advocate, spoke about the crimes committed in Xinjiang. Ilham’s father who is an Islamic scholar has remained in solitary confinement for nine years in a Chinese prison as part of a life sentence, Bangkok Post reported. Notably, the ‘Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’ is China’s only region with a Muslim population in the majority. The government led by the Chinese Communist Party has claimed that their actions are based on counter-terrorism and social “de-radicalisation efforts.”