UN accuses Beijing of possible ‘crimes against humanity’ against Uyghurs

It was a report on the Chinese region of Xinjiang that did not fail to trigger Beijing’s anger. In it, published on Wednesday, the UN refers to possible “crimes against humanity” and reports “credible evidence” of torture and sexual violence against the Uyghur minority.

“The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim groups (…) may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” the report said. Michelle Bachelet, for whom it was the last day at the head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights after a four-year term, thus keeps her promise in extremis by publishing the document shortly before midnight.

A “farce” according to Beijing

If the report does not seem to contain revelations compared to what was already known, it brings the seal of the UN to the accusations made for a long time. Its publication was the subject of intense pressure from those who wanted to make it public, in particular the United States, and, conversely, to prevent it from seeing the light of day by Beijing, which considers it as a “farce” orchestrated by Westerners.

In this document, the United Nations calls on the international community to act urgently in the face of accusations of torture and sexual violence in Xinjiang that the organization considers “credible”. The UN should therefore use it “to launch an exhaustive investigation into the Chinese government’s crimes against humanity,” said Sophie Richardson, director of the NGO Human Rights Watch for China. “The time for accountability is now,” rejoices Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress.

The document did not fail to trigger the ire of Beijing. According to the Chinese Embassy to the UN in Geneva in the commentary attached to the report, it is based “on disinformation and lies fabricated by anti-China forces” and “wantonly defames and slanders China and interferes in [ses] Internal Affairs “.

No word “genocide”

A quick search in the text, however, does not bring up the word genocide. An accusation however brought against China by the American government but also the French National Assembly or the representations of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or Canada.

For several years, Xinjiang has been under intense surveillance by Beijing. Western studies accuse China of having interned in “camps” at least a million people, of carrying out sterilizations or of imposing “forced labor”. The UN does not corroborate this figure but notes “that a significant proportion” of Uyghurs and Muslim minorities were interned. China denies and claims that the “camps” are in fact “vocational training centers” intended to keep the inhabitants away from religious extremism, and which would now be closed.

Source: 20Minutes – Une by www.20minutes.fr.

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