The fifty countries that signed the joint statement are Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. – Business Standard
Fifty countries have called on China to “uphold its international human rights obligations” in a joint statement read out during a United Nations debate that condemned violations against Uyghurs and other predominately Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region.
The statement, read out by Canada during a debate of the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee on Monday, expressed concern that China had refused to discuss a UN human rights office report which found that the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang may constitute “crimes against humanity”.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report had made “an important contribution to the existing evidence of serious and systematic human rights violations in China”, according to the joint statement.
“In view of the gravity of the OHCHR assessment, we are concerned that China has so far refused to discuss its findings,” it added.
Violations in Xinjiang noted in the joint statement included mass detentions, surveillance based on ethnicity and religion, restrictions on cultural identity and religious practice, destruction of mosques and shrines, enforced disappearance, forced labour, family separations, and forced abortions and sterilisation.
“Such severe and systematic violations of human rights cannot be justified on the basis of counterterrorism,” the countries said in their statement.
China should fully implement the recommendations in the OHCHR report, the statement adds, including the release of those arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and also clarify the locations of those still missing, and facilitate contact with their families and reunions.
“We thank Canada and all the 50 countries who signed onto this joint statement condemning China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan,” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.
“We urge the international community, including UN Human Rights chief Dr Volker Turk, to act swiftly to end China’s ongoing Uyghur Genocide.
“We condemn the 66 countries, especially the Muslim countries, who support Chinese imperialism and the ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples,” he added.
Dai Bing, charge d’affaires of China’s permanent mission to the UN, however, described the concerns expressed over the human rights situation in Xinjiang as Western “hype” designed to “contain” China.
“Xinjiang is just a façade, behind which lies their true intent, namely, to use Xinjiang to contain China and maintain their hegemony,” Dai said, according to state media organisation China Central Television (CCTV).
“Today, it’s China that’s in the crosshairs of their punitive flak. Tomorrow, it would be another developing country targeted by them,” he said.
– Al Jazeera and Business Standard
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