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US calls on China to release Uighur detainees ahead of Eid


The United States on Wednesday called on China to release all Uighurs and other Muslim minorities arbitrarily detained throughout Xinjiang so they may return home to celebrate the Eid holiday with their loved ones.
Morgan Ortagus, the spokesperson of the US State Department, said, "As we look ahead to the end of Ramadan and Eid holiday, it is important to speak up for the victims of China's massive campaign of repression against Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang."
Ortagus also said that China must immediately end its rampant abuse of human rights in Xinjiang province, where the ethnic minorities, including the Uighurs, are a majority. Xinjiang is situated in the western part of China and is officially designated as an autonomous region.
"The human rights abuses in Xinjiang must end and they must end now. We call on the Chinese government to release all Uighurs and other Muslims minorities arbitrarily detained throughout Xinjiang so that they may return home to celebrate the Eid holiday with their loved ones," she added.
The spokesperson continued that the United States is "alarmed by the arbitrary and unjust detention of more than one million people", along with widespread "reports of torture and cruel inhumane or degrading treatment ever present high-tech surveillance and coarse practices contrary to people's faith."
"Throughout this campaign, the Chinese government aims to force its own citizens to renounce the ethnic identities and their Islamic faith," Ortagus said.
"The Chinese Communist party has exhibited extreme hostility to all religious faiths since its founding. But even so, the repression of Chinese Muslims stands out as particularly cruel and inhumane during the holy month," she added.
Last year in August, a United Nations human rights panel had expressed grave concerns that there were credible reports that China is holding a million Uighur Muslims in mass detention camps in Xinjiang province.
Meanwhile, China's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Yu Jianhua hailed China's policies towards the minorities and said they were focused on promoting harmony and unity. He added that 20 million people were pulled out from poverty due to economic development in the region.
Many international human rights organisations have accused China of cracking down on the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending the minority community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination.

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First Published: May 30 2019 | 4:17 AM IST

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