Over 40 Western countries have criticised China at the United Nations over the ongoing atrocities against Muslim Uyghurs and other religious minorities in Xinjiang. The 43 countries have signed the statement, expressing concern at “credible-based reports” of the existence of “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, Al Jazeera reported. It was read by France’s UN Ambassador Nicolas De Riviere at a meeting of the General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee.
“We call on China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her office,” the countries said. It was the third time in three years that the US and mainly European nations used the Human Rights Committee meeting to criticise China over its policies on the Uyghurs.
A new report published on Wednesday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) details the role of several Chinese government bodies in carrying out a campaign of repression in Xinjiang province. An 82-page research report reveals the Chinese state’s systematic attempt to suppress Uyghur culture, identity and populations. It is the latest in a mounting body of evidence documenting the large scale human rights abuses in the Uyghur region.
The report draws on previously unpublished material, local language sources, including police records and budget documents obtained by scraping Chinese government websites. The report highlights the “whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach” to Xinjiang’s crackdown, naming an astounding number of offices and officials involved in its repressive policies.
A cross-party alliance of parliamentarians from democratic countries, called on democratic states to take urgent, coordinated action to protect Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in the Uyghur Region.
“Further, we request ASPI to share with IPAC, governments, and other relevant bodies the list of culpable officials referenced in their report so that sanctions can be pursued where appropriate. Those responsible for perpetrating these abuses must be held to account for their actions,” the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) said in a statement on Wednesday.
Beijing has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and subjecting them to abuse including forced labour. However, Chinese authorities continue to deny all charges.