Fifty United Nations members have urged China to “uphold its international human rights obligations”. The joint statement responds to a U.N. report that documents systematic abuse of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
Such severe violations “cannot be justified”
A joint statement, read by Canada during a U.N. debate on October 31, spoke of international concern over China’s refusal to discuss its treatment of Uyghurs.
The statement emphasized that the report from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had made “an important contribution to the existing evidence of serious and systematic human rights violations in China.”
Violations in Xinjiang noted in the joint statement included mass detentions, surveillance based on ethnicity and religion, restrictions on cultural identity and religious practice, destruction of mosques and shrines, enforced disappearance, forced labour, family separations, and forced abortions and sterilisation.
The countries stressed that “such severe and systematic violations of human rights cannot be justified on the basis of counterterrorism.”
A group of U.N. members. including the United States and the United Kingdom, organized a meeting last week to discuss the report.
China’s U.N. Mission condemned the meeting, calling it an “anti-China event” and wrote to other states asking them to boycott it.
The letter read:
It is a politically motivated event […] The co-sponsors use human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs like Xinjiang, to create division and turbulence and disrupt China’s development.
Time to double down on activism
China’s deflection attempts are wearing thin and diplomatic pressure on Beijing continues to mount. Activists around the world are responding by doubling down on their campaigning against Uyghur forced labor – and you can too! Join the campaign today!