International

At UNHRC, grave concerns raised over Xinjiang

More than 40 countries led by Canada voiced grave concerns at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday about China’s actions in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet — triggering a fierce backlash from Beijing.

The widely anticipated joint statement had been in the pipeline for several days and was delivered on day two of the 47th session of the council in Geneva.

“We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” Canada’s Ambassador Leslie Norton said.

The statement was backed by Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.S., among others.

Beijing must allow UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet and other independent observers “immediate, meaningful and unfettered access” to Xinjiang, and end the “arbitrary detention” of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, it said.

“Credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and that there is widespread surveillance disproportionately targeting Uighurs and members of other minorities and restrictions on fundamental freedoms and Uighur culture,” it said.

The statement cited reports of torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment, forced sterilisation, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced separation of children from their parents.

Aware that the statement was coming, China responded — before it was delivered.

Beijing’s representative read out a statement on behalf of a group of countries “deeply concerned about serious human rights violations against the indigenous people in Canada”.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 11:20:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/at-unhrc-grave-concerns-raised-over-xinjiang/article34914963.ece

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