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Uyghur activists protest in US, urge UN to act on genocide by China

Human rights campaigners have been accusing the ruling Communist Party of China of committing widespread abuses in Xinjiang in the name of security

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

Activists advocating the protection of rights of the Uyghur community held a demonstration in front of Capitol Hill in Washington, US on Sunday (local time) and urged the UN to act on the 'Uyghur Genocide' being carried out by China.
Human rights campaigners have been accusing the ruling Communist Party of China of committing widespread abuses in Xinjiang in the name of security, steps which include confining people to internment camps, forcibly separating families, and carrying out forced sterilization.
The protestors also demanded that the Chinese Communist Party release the families of Uyghur camp survivors from the 'internment camps'.
Taking to Twitter, Radio Free Asia for Uyghurs, wrote, " Uyghur activists and camp survivors gathered at Capitol Hill for a visual demonstration to demand the CCP to release their families from internment camps and for #UNHRC to release the report on Uyghurs. @Uyghur_American."
The gathering at the protest site also condemned the United Nations saying that the organization is unable to tackle the issues of Uyghurs.
Some placards at the protest site also read that UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet is complicit in the issue of 'Uyghur genocide'.
The protest in front of Capitol Hill came in the backdrop of widespread criticism of UN Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet's six-day China visit, which concluded on Saturday, that it was "not an investigation" instead she spoke with "candour" in her meetings with the Chinese officials.
The United States on Sunday expressed concern over Beijing's efforts to restrict and manipulate the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team to China that "did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment" in the country, including in Xinjiang, where "genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing".
"The United States remains concerned about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team's visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Beijing's efforts to restrict and manipulate her visit," the State Department said in its statement.
"While we continue to raise our concerns about China's human rights abuses directly with Beijing and support others who do so, we are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in the PRC, including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing," it added.
The United States is further troubled by reports that residents of Xinjiang were warned not to complain or speak openly about conditions in the region, that no insight was provided into the whereabouts of hundreds of missing Uyghurs and conditions for over a million individuals in detention, the state department added.
"The High Commissioner should have been allowed confidential meetings with family members of Uyghur and other ethnic minority diaspora communities in Xinjiang who are not in detention facilities but are forbidden from travelling out of the region," it further said.
The statement also noted that the High Commissioner was not allowed access to individuals who were part of the Xinjiang labour transfer program and have been sent to other provinces across China.
The United States remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the People's Republic of China, particularly in light of new reports that offer further proof of arbitrary detentions among the more than one million people detained in Xinjiang.
"Survivors and family members of detainees have described cruel treatment that shocks the conscience, including torture, forced sterilization, state-sponsored forced labour, sexual violence, and forced separation of children from their parents," it added.
The US urged China to respect the human rights of Tibetans, those living in Hong Kong, and all others who seek to peacefully exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The country called on China to immediately cease its atrocities in Xinjiang and release those unjustly detained, account for those who have disappeared, and allow independent investigators unhindered access to Xinjiang, Tibet, and across China.
The UN rights chief admitted the only prison she visited in the Xinjiang province was not one in which Uyghurs convicted of political crimes are held.
"It is scandalous that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights went to China and East Turkistan without being able to even condemn the government for committing genocide. She has failed her mandate. The Uyghur community deserves accountability more than ever," said Dolkun Isa, president of the Uyghur Congress. The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) has expressed its serious disappointment to the outcomes of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet's visit to China, including a trip to Xinjiang.
As they feared, human rights groups say this visit has turned out to be a "propaganda opportunity" for China to whitewash its crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uyghur people.

(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: May 30 2022 | 1:11 PM IST

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