UN draws up damning indictment of China’s policy in Xinjiang

UN draws up damning indictment of China’s policy in Xinjiang
UN draws up damning indictment of China’s policy in Xinjiang

At 11:47 p.m. on August 31, just thirteen minutes before the end of her term as High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet released the long-awaited United Nations (UN) report on human rights man in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.

Arbitrary detentions, torture, forced sterilizations… The 46 pages of the report sound like a real indictment against the policy pursued by Beijing. The verdict is final : “The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of Uighurs and members of other predominantly Muslim groups (…) in a context of restrictions and deprivation, more generally, of both individual and collective fundamental rights, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity. »

To reach this damning conclusion, the UN says it was informed “end of 2017” of “disappearances” in Xinjiang and started working in 2018. The report is based on the writings and declarations of the Chinese authorities themselves, but also on the work of researchers, satellite images, open access information as well as on forty interviews in-depth, including twenty-six of people who have been interned or worked in camps in Xinjiang since 2016.

The UN condemns both the legal foundations of Beijing’s policy – “China’s counter-terrorism legal system is based on vague and broad concepts” – and its implementation. China has long explained that the Uighurs guilty of crimes “miners” were not sent to detention centers but to vocational training centers. The UN points out that none of the testimonies it has collected indicate that the “trainees” were allowed to leave these centres, that none had been offered an alternative offer, that most had previously been detained by the police and that they had never had access to a lawyer.

Worse: two-thirds of the twenty-six people interviewed who were detained in these “training centers” have “reported having undergone treatment that can go as far as torture”. Sexual violence, particularly against women, forced administration of suspicious medicinal products… What NGOs have been denouncing for years is confirmed by the testimonies judged “credible” by the UN.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “Xinjiang Police Files”: revelations about the Chinese repressive machine against the Uighurs

Between 10% and 20% of the adult population

While China has consistently refused to state the number of people it claims were merely ” pass “ in these “training centers”the UN says that“between 2017 and 2019 at least” this number was ” Very important “. In the absence of official figures, the UN points out that researchers estimate that between 10% and 20% of the adult population ” ethnic “ would have, at one time or another, been detained in these camps. The UN says it has not had the means to verify whether they were actually closed in 2019, as China claims. More broadly, the report also denounces the detention of Uighur artists and intellectuals, as well as the detention of people because of their religious practices.

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Tags: draws damning indictment Chinas policy Xinjiang

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