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UN Releases Long-Awaited Report on Abuses in Xinjiang


People line up at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center at the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux in western China's Xinjiang region. (File)

The highly anticipated United Nations report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang, China, “outlines in alarming details the human rights violations and abuses occurring in Xinjiang,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

UN Releases Long-Awaited Report on Abuses in Xinjiang
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The highly anticipated United Nations report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang, China, has been released. It “outlines in alarming details the human rights violations and abuses occurring in Xinjiang,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The report authored by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concludes that “the extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of the Uyghur and predominantly Muslim groups. . .may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” and that “serious human rights violations have been committed” in Xinjiang.

The report comes four years after a committee of UN experts called attention to "credible reports" that the People’s Republic of China had interned more than 1 million Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in so-called re-education camps in Xinjiang under the guise of counterterrorism and counter-extremism strategies.

Secretary Blinken welcomed the report noting it “describes authoritatively the appalling treatment and abuses of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups by the government of the People’s Republic of China.” According to the report these abuses have included “undue restrictions on religious identity and expression, as well as the rights to privacy and movement. There are serious indications of violations of reproductive rights through the coercive and discriminatory enforcement of family planning and birth control policies.” Witnesses also reported various forms of sexual violence, including some instances of rape and various forms of sexual humiliation, including forced nudity.

Secretary Blinken declared this report “deepens and reaffirms” the United States’ “grave concern regarding the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity that PRC government authorities are perpetrating against Uyghurs, who are predominantly Muslim, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield called for “the full Human Rights Council membership (to) have an opportunity to formally discuss the findings of this report as soon as possible and that the perpetrators of these atrocities (be) held accountable.”

Secretary Blinken also vowed to “seek justice and accountability for the many victims. We will continue to hold the PRC to account and call on the PRC to release those unjustly detained, account for those disappeared, and allow independent investigators full and unhindered access to Xinjiang, Tibet, and across the PRC.”

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