UN releases report pointing to China’s crimes against humanity in Xinjiang

The region concentrates the Uighur minority, a Muslim people who claim to be the target of persecution and even torture; Chinese government pressed for non-disclosure of the document

Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP – 05/07/2022
Women who support the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement gather in front of the White House and hold up posters that read
Posters with the message “stop the Uighur genocide” are displayed at a protest held in front of the White House in the United States.

THE UN warned on Wednesday, 31, of possible “crimes against humanity” committed in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, in a long-awaited report and published minutes before Michelle Bachelet step down as High Commissioner for the Human rights. “The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of Uighurs and members of other predominantly Muslim groups may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” the report states in its conclusions. According to the UN, a discriminatory approach by the Beijing regime against the Uighurs and other Muslim communities, resulting in “large-scale deprivation of liberty”. The document states that the allegations of torture and violation of human rights are credible. THE China strongly opposed the release of the report.

The Uighurs are Muslims, culturally distant from the Chinese – the strongest links are with peoples of Central Asia – and are mostly concentrated in Xinjiang, in northwest China. In the past, there were attempts to create an independent republic there called East Turkmenistan, and to this day Beijing restricts any such manifestation. The Uighur minority accuses the Chinese government of having promoted the migration of Chinese there, which would have led to persecution against Muslims. In 2009, a violent clash between Chinese and Uighurs caused around 200 deaths. In addition, China accuses the Uighurs of being linked to Al Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist group that orchestrated the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. It was under the allegation of collaboration with terror that several Muslims were arrested in recent years old. The UN commission considers the anti-terrorist system implemented by Beijing problematic. Accusations that China runs a re-education camp to confine Uighurs and other Muslim minorities surfaced in 2016.

*With information from AFP

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