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    China Must Address Grave Human Rights Violations in Xinjiang, Say Rights Experts

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    China Must Address Grave Human Rights Violations in Xinjiang, Say Rights Experts

    The statement of the 40 independent experts comes in the wake of the recent publication of a long-awaited report by the UN human rights office which documented “serious human rights violations” committed against the Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. 

    China must address grave human rights violations in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and the world community must not turn a blind eye, a body of 40 independent experts has said.

    The statement of the independent experts appealing for addressing the issue of human rights of the communities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) comes in the wake of an earlier report of the UN human rights office. The report had found that “serious human rights violations” had been committed against the Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities of Xinjaing.

    In supporting the assessment, the experts highlighted the conclusion, which stated that “the extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minorities … may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity”.

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    They drew attention to the report’s findings of credible allegations of patterns of torture or ill-treatment.

    These included forced medical treatment and adverse detention conditions, as well as incidents of sexual and gender-based violence such as invasive gynecological exams, and indications of coercive enforcement of family planning and birth control policies.

    They also welcomed the attention given to widespread misuse of counter-terrorism and counter-extremism laws, policies and practice.

    The group of experts who signed the statement consists of special rapporteurs or members of working groups who were appointed by the UN human rights council in Geneva. The experts have received mandates to monitor and report on various human rights concerns worldwide. The experts are not paid by the UN for their work.

    Policies that restrict rights 

    The experts were particularly concerned that both UN human rights mechanisms, in tandem with the report, demonstrated that China’s policies and practices have limited the legitimate exercise of numerous human rights.

    Among them is the right of religious and ethnic minorities to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.

    The experts said they “support all the recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Office,” while also offering support to facilitate their implementation.”

    The experts called on the Chinese Government to invite UN human rights mandate holders to the country, and affirmed their availability to undertake visits, as well as to provide technical assistance and support to the authorities.

    The experts also repeated their call for the UN Human Rights Council to convene a special session on China, initially made in a June 2020 statement.

    They said the session should be held “precisely because key issues of concern, especially arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, restrictions to movement, privacy, freedom of religion, freedom of expression are occurring in other parts of the country premised on grounds of national security”.

    The Human Rights Council should urgently consider establishing a mandate, or panel of experts, to closely monitor, analyse and report on the human rights situation in China, they added, while the UN General Assembly or Secretary-General should consider the creation of a special envoy.

    They also urged UN Member States, UN agencies and businesses to demand that China fulfills its human rights obligations, including during their ongoing dialogues with the government.

     

    Image: Wikimedia

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