New York (Aryavarth): As many as 39 countries at the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee on Tuesday urged China to close the detention camps in Xinjiang.
“We request that China close the detention camps in Xinjiang, that China stops tearing down mosques, religious sites, that China stops forced labour, and that China also stops forced birth control,” Sputnik quoted German Ambassador to the United Nations Christoph Heusgen saying on behalf of the 39 UN member states to reporters.
Xinjiang is home to around 10 million Uyghurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 per cent of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China’s authorities of cultural, religious, and economic discrimination.
About seven per cent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang has been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to US officials and UN experts.
Classified documents known as the China Cables, accessed last year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, threw light on how the Chinese government uses technology to control Uighurs worldwide.
China put a million or more Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities into detention camps and prisons in Xinjiang over the last three years under President Xi Jinping’s directives to “show absolutely no mercy in the struggle against terrorism,
infiltration, and separatism”, revealed the documents released in US media.
However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training. Uyghur activists and human rights groups have countered that many of those held are people with advanced degrees and business owners who are influential in their communities and have no need for any special education.
People in the internment camps have described being subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and denial of food and medicine, and say they have been prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language.
Now, as Beijing denies these accounts, it also refuses to allow independent inspections into the regions, at the same time, which further fuels reports related to China’s atrocities on the minority Muslims.