Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

China accused of rights violations against Uighur Turks

Abdusalam Muhemet an ethnic Uighur Muslim who ran a restaurant in Hotan before fleeing China this year in Istanbul Abdusalam Muhemet an ethnic Uighur Muslim who ran a restaurant in Hotan before fleeing China this year in Istanbul Sept. 2
Patty Aguilar | 14 September, 2018, 12:05

The Republic of China has urged the United Nations to respect its sovereignty after UN's human rights chief highlighted "deeply disturbing" allegations of mass detentions of Muslim Uighur minorities in Xinjiang.

China yesterday urged the USA to abandon its "prejudice" over Xinjiang, as Washington considers sanctions against Chinese officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses. For those who can read, they read out from a paper but for those who cannot, they said, "You can sing a song or tell a story and we will record you".

The State Department on Tuesday expressed concern following reports of mass detentions of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims, which has prompted worldwide outcry. The issue became more urgent after U.S. Congress asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to take action. "We're not going to preview any sanctions that may or may not happen", Nauert said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a news conference on Monday that the group Human Rights Watch is prejudiced against China, always distorts facts and tries to cause trouble.

"The Chinese government protects people's freedom of religion and people of all ethnic groups are fully entitled to freedom of religion".

Xinjiang is home to over half of China's 24 million Muslims.

Up to 1 million people, or about 7 percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have now been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and United Nations experts.

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In August, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers called for Chinese officials involved in alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang to be sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act - the 2012 law originally created to freeze the assets of certain Russian government officials and businessmen accused of human rights violations.

In the camps, the report alleged detainees were forced to repeat slogans praising the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping, as well as singing patriotic songs.

There are reports of China detaining up to 1 million Muslims in indoctrination camps in the region.

The report echoes remarks by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which on August 10 said ethnic Uyghurs in China were being held in "counterextremism centers", with millions more forced into reeducation camps, turning China's Uighur region into "something that resembles a massive internment camp".

Officials from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said various reports from the region indicate that Muslims are "being treated as enemies of the state exclusively on the basis of their ethno-religious identity".

But the Chinese government strongly denied the figures, saying there was no mass imprisonment or "arbitrary detention".

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