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China: UN calls for Human Rights commission's visit to Xinjiang camps

A British media house report alleged systematic rape in so-called re-education camps

Xinjiang | United Nations | Xi Jinping


A general view of Urumqi, Xinjiang Province. Photo: Reuters
A general view of Urumqi, Xinjiang Province. Photo: Reuters

spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Thursday called for a visit of High Commissioner's for Human Rights to the Muslim-majority Chinese region of Xinjiang, after a British media house report alleging systematic rape in so-called re-education camps.

Sputnik cited interviews that the UK media outlet conducted with former detainees and a guard, that Muslim Uyghur women in such camps are systematically subjected to rape, torture and sexual abuse.

"Taking into account the nature of the allegations in the report and the denial by the authorities of these allegations, I think it's more important now than ever for the proposed mission of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to go forward," Dujarric said in a press briefing.

The US Department of State has expressed its disturbance over the reports about systematic rape and sexual abuse in camps for Uyghurs and other Muslims in China's Uyghur Autonomous Region.

"We are deeply disturbed by reports, including first-hand testimony, of systematic rape and sexual abuse against women in internment camps for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in . People's Republic of China (PRC) authorities should allow for immediate and independent investigations by observers into these shocking allegations, in addition to the other atrocities being committed in Xinjiang," the department said in a statement on late Wednesday as quoted by Sputnik.

"The United States calls upon the leaders of the PRC to immediately release all arbitrarily detained people and abolish the internment camps; to cease enforced sterilizations; to end all torture; and to stop persecuting Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang," it added.

The department also vowed to discuss the situation in with foreign partners, condemn the alleged atrocities in the region and promote accountability for those responsible for them.

However, Beijing continues to deny the reports of sexual abuse of Uyghur women. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin rejected the reports stating that "re-education centers" strictly observe the constitution and laws, ensuring the fundamental rights of those who are there, and that violence and ill-treatment are prohibited.

The US designated China's actions in Xinjiang a genocide in the last weeks of the tenure of then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.

Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community, according to a report.

Recently, a commission of the United States Congress, in a new report, said that China has possibly carried out "genocide" against Uyghurs and other minority Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang.

The report, released by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), stated that the Chinese government and Communist Party have taken unprecedented steps to extend their repressive policies through censorship, intimidation, and the detention of people in China for exercising their fundamental human rights.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, February 05 2021. 06:57 IST