Chinese diplomats to face grilling on Xinjiang camps
09 November, 2018, 09:35
Former inmates say they have been detained for wearing a long beard, a veil, or the sending of greeting on the internet during muslim holidays.
However, while the protest and the accusations presented during the review have demonstrated the growing opposition to China's policies in the Xinjiang region, where more than one million ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs are now being held in internment camps, China has once again rejected the criticisms in regards to its treatment of ethnic Muslims.
In the morning of 6 November 2018, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and the Society for Threatened People (STP) have jointly organized a protest to highlight the severe human rights situation in Southern Mongolia and in Tibet as well as the mass arbitrary detention of the Uyghur people by Chinese authorities in internment camps.
Britain has asked when China will implement a United Nations racial discrimination panel's recommendation that it "halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in any extra-legal detention facilities".
As representatives from the United Stated, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, and several other countries have called on China to close the internment camps where more than one million ethnic Uyghurs and Kazakhs are now unlawfully held in detention.
Beijing should "halt massive imprisonment" and "guarantee freedom of religion and belief, including in Tibet and Xinjiang", France's ambassador Francois Rivasseau said.
The Chinese delegation members reiterated Beijing's line that the tough security measures in Xinjiang were necessary to combat extremism and terrorism, and that they did not target any specific ethnic group.
"Can China clarify the basis for its apparent criminalisation of peaceful religious practices as justification to detain people in these political "re-education" camps in Xinjiang, as well as which officials are responsible for this policy?"
The centres should "teach like a school, be managed like the military, and be defended like a prison", said one official document, quoting Xinjiang's party secretary Chen Quanguo.
"The Chinese government owes some answers to global questions about Xinjiang", Maya Wang (王松蓮), senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, told reporters.
But one after another, Western countries spoke out against what they described as a deterioration in China's human rights since the last review, especially over its treatment of Muslims in the western province of Xinjiang.
That year also saw five Hong Kong-based booksellers known for publishing gossipy titles about Chinese political leaders disappear, before they resurfaced in mainland China.
China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng on Tuesday said that China's perspective on human rights has been widely understood, recognized and supported.
Beyond Xinjiang, China will also come under scrutiny for other aspects of its human rights record, including a dramatic crackdown on civil liberties and religious freedoms since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.
In July 2017, dissident activist and Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer while under police custody.
Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China, told Reuters at the event: "The detention of over a million ethnic Uighurs is a tipping point for the global community".
Representatives from both Canada and the United Kingdom said the country's human rights situation has "deteriorated".
According to Lu, the development of human rights in China adheres to a people-centered principle, and takes the aspirations of the people to live a better life as its major goal.
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