China must address serious human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), and the international community must not turn a blind eye, more than 40 independent UN experts said on Wednesday.
Their statement follows the recent publication of a long-awaited report by the United Nations human rights office, OHCHR, which concluded that “serious human rights violations” had been committed against Uyghurs. and other predominantly Muslim communities.
Support for the UN report
In support of the assessment, the experts pointed to the conclusion, which stated that “extensive arbitrary and discriminatory detention of Uyghur members and other predominantly Muslim minorities…may amount to international crimes, in especially crimes against humanity”.
They drew attention to the report’s findings regarding credible allegations of patterns of torture or ill-treatment.
These included forced medical treatment and adverse prison conditions, as well as incidents of sexual and gender-based violence such as invasive gynecological examinations and indications of coercive enforcement of family planning and birth control policies.
They also welcomed the attention given to the widespread misuse of counter-terrorism and counter-extremism laws, policies and practices.
Policies restrict rights
The experts were particularly concerned that the two UN human rights mechanisms, alongside the report, demonstrated that China’s policies and practices had limited the legitimate exercise of many human rights. ‘man.
Among them is the right of religious and ethnic minorities to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion or to use their own language.
The experts said they “support all recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Office”, while offering support to facilitate their implementation.
Session of the Human Rights Council
They called on the Chinese government to invite UN human rights mandate holders to the country and affirmed their readiness to undertake visits, as well as provide technical assistance and support to the authorities.
The experts also reiterated their call for the UN Human Rights Council to convene a special session on China, originally made in a June 2020 statement.
They said the session should take place “precisely because key issues, in particular arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, restrictions on movement, privacy, freedom of religion, freedom of expression are occurring in d ‘other parts of the country for reasons of national security’. .
The Human Rights Council should urgently consider establishing a mandate, or a group of experts, to closely monitor, analyze and report on the human rights situation in China, they added, while the General Assembly or the UN Secretary General should consider the creation of a special sent committee.
They also urged UN member states, UN agencies and companies to demand that China fulfill its human rights obligations, including in their ongoing dialogues with the government.
About the UN Independent Experts
The group of experts who signed the statement are made up of special rapporteurs or members of working groups who have been appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
They have been given mandates to monitor and report on various human rights concerns around the world.
Independent Experts act in their individual capacity and are not UN staff and are not remunerated for their work.