UK deplores human rights abuses ‘on industrial scale’ in China’s Xinjiang


Britain’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab denounced an “industrial scale” of torture, forced labour and sterilisations against Muslim Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region, adding there should be a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council to this effect.

Mr. Raab also said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet or another independent expert should be given “urgent and unfettered access” to the region.

“The situation in Xinjiang is beyond the pale. The reported abuses – which include torture, forced labour and forced sterilisation of women – are extreme and they are extensive. They are taking place on an industrial scale,” Raab said in a recorded speech to the council on Monday.

UN rights experts and rights activists have said that at least 1 million Muslims are detained in camps in the remote western region of China.

The Chinese government meanwhile, denies abuses and always maintained that its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.

The current US administration has endorsed a last-minute determination by the Trump administration that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang and the foreign secretary said the United States must be prepared to impose costs on China.

Raab also said that the rights of people in Hong Kong – a former British colony – were being “systematically violated”.

The draconian national security law imposed by China in June last year was inhibiting freedoms, he said, calling for free and fair legislative elections to take place.

On Myanmar, he said the situation was worsening after a military coup on Feb 1.

“The military must step aside. Civilian leaders must be released. And the democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar must be respected,” he said. (Source: CNA)