The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomes the much-delayed report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Xinjiang (known to the Uyghur people as East Turkestan). The report includes damning criticism of Chinese government policies, which are in violation of its “obligations under international human rights law, contained principally in the human rights treaties to which China is a State Party.”
The report calls on China to do “a full review of the legal framework governing national security, counter-terrorism and minority rights in XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region] to ensure their compliance with binding international human rights law, and urgently repeal all discriminatory laws, policies and practices against Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minorities in XUAR”.
ICT endorses the report’s call to China to invite “as a matter of priority the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Minorities, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights and the Working Group on Business and Human Rights to conduct unrestricted country visits to China”.
ICT joins fellow human rights organizations in urging that the report be officially presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and implementation of its recommendations be discussed. Those Chinese government entities and officials responsible for the human rights crimes outlined in the report must be held accountable.
ICT also want to draw attention to the recommendation made by more than 50 UN independent experts in June 2020 for a UN Special Rapporteur “to closely monitor, analyse and report annually on the human rights situation in China, particularly, in view of the urgency of the situations in the Hong Kong SAR, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and the Tibet Autonomous Region”.
The full report “OHCHR Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China” can be read here.