UN to grill China over interment camps

Muslim Uighurs

Muslim Uighurs

One question by the U.S. says: "Can China clarify the basis for its apparent criminalization 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?"

China, meanwhile, rejects Western criticism and allegations of suspected mass detention and heavy surveillance of Uighurs in the region of Xinjiang.

The centres where they are thought to be detained have come under increasing scrutiny this year, with rights activists describing them as political re-education camps.

During the half-day session, diplomats from around the world will have the chance to raise concerns, ask questions and make recommendations for changes.

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".

Beijing should "halt massive imprisonment" and "guarantee freedom of religion and belief, including in Tibet and Xinjiang", France's ambassador Francois Rivasseau said.

AUSTRALIA'S concerns over internment camps in China's far west, where up to a million people are being held without charge, will be raised this week when the country's foreign minister visits Beijing, she said today.

Chinese officials have said the facilities are part of efforts to combat terrorism, religious extremism and separatism in Xinjiang following unrest that left hundreds dead in the past few years.

An investigation of the AFP on more than 1,500 public documents available online was revealed in October that these centres, the number of 181 implanted in Xinjiang since 2014, bought including the use of batons, handcuffs or sprays of tear gas.

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China has said in the past that Xinjiang faces a threat from militants and separatists.

"The chinese government must provide answers to the questions of the worldwide community", said AFP Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch (HRW). "States need to demand the truth from China in the UN Human Rights Council review on Tuesday".

Le, also head of the Chinese delegation, said during an interview with Xinhua that among the 150 countries that spoke during the review, more than 120 countries expressed their support for and appreciation of China's human rights progresses.

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.

"All UN member states have an equal opportunity to press China on its egregious human rights record, and they shouldn't waste it", Human Rights Watch's Geneva director John Fisher said in a statement Monday.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng dismissed the censures.

In July 2017, dissident activist and Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer while under police custody.

The official told Xinhua that the promotion and protection of human rights is a dynamic historical process, and different cultural traditions, historical inheritance and basic national conditions have determined that countries must follow the path of human rights development that suits their own characteristics and set priorities in human rights development at different stages. There is a credible and growing body of evidence - including satellite images and scores of testimonies from families of those missing and individuals previously detained - suggesting that human rights violations are being carried out on a grand scale within the camps.

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