UN Report on China’s Xinjiang Abuses: United Nations Human Rights Body has released a report alleging abuses carried out by the Chinese Government in Xinjiang Province. The UN report says that “detention of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang constitutes “crimes against humanity”. The report which was published just minutes before UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s term endedsaid that “serious” rights violations and patterns of torture in recent years in the Xinjiang Region.
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights)
August 31, 2022
Calling for ‘urgent international attention’ to the human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang Province, the report says that allegations of patterns of torture and forced medical treatment are found to be credible. The report comes in the backdrop of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s much-criticised trip to Xinjiang in May.
How was the UN Human Rights Report on Xinjiang Abuses prepared?
According to the details shared by the UN Agency, the report was prepared through a series of video interviews conducted with former detainees and others familiar with the conditions in detention centres that have come up in the Xinjiang province. The reports of various researchers and journalists who have reported human rights violations in the region were also taken into account while preparing the final draft.
What does the UN Human Rights Report Say about Xinjiang Abuses?
Policies Targeted at Uyghurs and Other Muslims: Confirming the repeated allegations made byadvocacy groups and other human rights organizations; the report says that “serious human rights violations” have been committed by Chinese authorities under the garb of fighting terrorism and extremism. The Chinese state policies in Xinjiang are targeted at Uyghurs and other Muslim Communities who traditionally reside in the region.
Torture in Vocational Centres: The report also corroborates the charges levelled by human rights activists about the Vocational Training Centres employing “patterns of torture”under the name of vocational training for local communities.
Crimes Against Humanity: The report also cites several ‘credible’ allegations of ill-treatment which amounts to torture. UN Human Rights Report also claims that ‘forced medical treatments coupled with adverse detention conditions have been reported from vocational training centres. The report also cited instances of sexual and gender-based violence at the centres.
Discriminatory Detention Policies: UN Report onXinjiang abuses also points out the discriminatory detention policies of Chinese authorities which target particular groups and denied them fundamental rights.
Arbitrary Implementation of Domestic Criminal Laws: The document also lists an increase in arbitrary implementation of domestic criminal laws amounting to lengthy prison sentences for minor offences. The vague and capacious definitions of terrorism, ‘extremism’ and public security in the domestic criminal laws enable the authorities to discriminate between people.
Millions affected due to Detention Policies. Without giving any specific number, the report reads “reasonable to conclude that a pattern of large-scale arbitrary detention occurred” at least between 2017 and 2019. While reports of China closing down some of these detention centres have surfaced recently, many inmates of these centres have now been transferred to prisons under vague and secret charges.
The report calls for Chinese Authorities to release all the prisoners and detainees who have been arrested arbitrarily. The report asks the Chinese Government to clarify “the whereabouts of individuals who have disappeared” as reported by families of several people in the region.
China’s Response to UN Human Rights Report
As soon as the UN Report on Human Rights Violations in Xinjiang province, China denied any of the charges levelled against it in the report. The Chinese Government issued a statement saying that their efforts in the Xinjiang region have led to several achievements for “people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.”China’s diplomatic mission in Geneva issued a statement saying “Based on the disinformation and lies fabricated by anti-China forces and out of the presumption of guilt, the so-called ‘assessment’ distorts China’s laws, wantonly smears and slanders China, and interferes in China’s internal affairs.”