Hidayatullah.com — The Chinese government’s detention of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang could amount to a “crime against humanity”, the UN human rights office said in a report released late Wednesday ( 08/31/2022).
The 45-page report calls on Beijing to immediately release “all people arbitrarily deprived of their liberty”, clarify the fate of people whose families cannot be found and carry out a “comprehensive review” of internal security laws and repeal all discriminatory laws.
The document, released 13 minutes before the end of UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s term, comes four years after a groundbreaking report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination found that more than one million people are held in a network of detention centers across Xinjiang.
The United States government and the parliaments of Britain, Canada and France have since called China’s treatment of Uyghurs “genocide”.
The UN report does not mention the word “genocide”, but concludes that “serious human rights violations have been committed” in Xinjiang “in the context of the government’s implementation of strategies against against terrorism and extremism”.
“The level of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of Uyghurs and many other Muslim communities…may amount to international crimes, especially crimes against humanity,” he continued.
The Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim Turkic people who differ in religion, language and culture from the majority Han ethnic group in China.
Bachelet has requested “unrestricted” access to visit Xinjiang since 2018, but was only allowed to enter China in May.
After a tightly choreographed visit that drew criticism from human rights groups and other experts, he announced he would not run for a second term.
His office has come under pressure from China not to release reports on crimes against humanity in Uyghur Xinjiang, while other countries are pushing for the report to be released immediately.
Beijing initially denied the existence of the camp, but later said it was a vocational training center needed to fight “extremism”.
In a letter published as an annex to the report, China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva said it strongly opposes the publication of the report, saying it is based on “misinformation and fabricated lies. by anti-Chinese forces and on the presumption of guilt”.
“Living a happy life is a primary human right,” he added, pointing out that “all ethnic groups in Xinjiang” lead a “happy life” thanks to the government’s decision to “fight terrorism and extremism”.
He also attached his own 122-page report compiled by the Xinjiang Government Information Office, Countering Terrorism and Extremism in Xinjiang: Truth and Facts (PDF), defending his national security policies.*
Representative: Nasirul Haq
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