UN Watch Official Blasts China Over Uyghur Rights Abuse, Slams Countries Backing Beijing

The below article was published by Republic World, photo credit PTI/@HillelNeuer-Twitter

Human rights activist Hillel Neuer tore into China for the alleged human rights violations of Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 25, Neuer asked the logic behind the appointment of China, a country accused of gross human rights abuse, as a part of five-member UNHRC panel which is responsible for the nomination of investigators on arbitrary detention.

Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, told the council that a UN committee found credible reports of China’s mass detention of Uyghurs, with an estimated one million members of the minority community herded into so-called re-education camps. He expressed discontent over countries backing China on Uyghurs issue, referring to a letter signed by several nations including Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Russia, Saudi Arabia.

“By what logic should a representative of this country be part of the five-member panel that just nominated this Council’s next investigators on arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances to be appointed in this session?” he asked.

Uyghurs are Turkic-speaking Muslims in the Xinjiang province, also known as East Turkistan, who have been facing persecution in the name of “re-education” camps. A US-based Uyghur activist had termed the persecution of the ethnic minority group in China’s Xinjiang region as “genocide” and said that the Chinese government don’t see the community as “normal” other ethnic minorities.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin rubbished the claims at a regular news conference on September 14, saying those are nothing but “rumours and slanders.” Wang said that the rights of ethnic minority workers from Xinjiang are protected by China’s Labor Law and Labor Contract Law. He added that the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew from 5.55 million to over 12 million in the past four decades.

“The US Department of State’s webpage on Xinjiang is full of lies and rumours,” he told the press briefing, without providing the rate of population growth in the past four years.