United Nations on Wednesday accused China of widespread detentions of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in its Xinjiang province that “may constitute international crimes, in particular, crimes against humanity.”
Earlier on August 31 in Geneva, just before Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, was to step down from her position, a long-awaited report was made public. She received criticism for continually delaying the report’s release without providing any justification, confusing diplomats and human rights organisations. When Michelle Bachelet’s spokeswoman indicated in December that the report would be published in a matter of weeks, it did not materialise, furthering views of a United Nations leadership unwilling to confront China.
According to the report, “the extent of Uyghur and other primarily Muslim groups’ members’ arbitrary and discriminatory detention, pursuant to law and policy, in context of restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”
The claims of sexual and gender-based violence, including rape, “are plausible and would in itself amount to acts of torture or other types of ill-treatment,” the UN report continued.
UN human rights experts have expressed grave concerns over the alleged imprisonment and forced labour of Muslim Uyghurs in China. They have demanded unrestricted entry to the nation for fact-finding missions and urged both domestic and foreign businesses to carefully examine their supply chains.
Concern over the condition of Uyghur Muslims has been expressed by experts, and demands to boycott Chinese goods made in Xinjiang have been made in support of the cause.
Various watchdog organisations have also produced several publications with first-hand testimonies of impacted minorities, demonstrating Beijing’s direct participation in the crime against humanity.
Many organisations have called for a worldwide boycott of Chinese goods and have announced a diplomatic boycott of Chinese-hosted events.
China refuses to refute any proof, even in the face of accumulating evidence, and labels the charges as western propaganda.