UN alarmed by reports of China's mass detention of Uighurs

UN alarmed by reports of China's mass detention of Uighurs

The review by this committee acknowledged and recognised China's progress and also spoke positively of China's relevant policies", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

"These lawmakers are receiving money from the American taxpayer, they should focus on their job. instead of trying to poke their nose in the business of other countries, trying to be the judge of human rights and even threatening to impose unreasonable sanctions on other countries", Hua added.

A group of US lawmakers are calling on their government to impose sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans on Chinese officials and companies tied to alleged massive human rights abuses in the predominantly Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang (SHIN'-jhang).

The order to detain and re-educate these men, women, and children comes as an order from President Xi Jinping as an attempt to combat religious extremism, particularly Jihadism.

Authorities in China have long denied the existence of internment camps despite mounting evidence from both official documents and testimonies from those who have been held in them.

Its findings coincided with a call from 17 United States congressional lawmakers that Washington impose sanctions on two surveillance equipment manufacturers and seven Chinese officials, including Xinjiang chief Chen Quanguo.

It said that sanctions should be imposed on hardline Chinese official Chen Quangguo - secretary of Xinjiang, and other officials complicit in rights abuses under the US Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

The United Nations has called on China to end the detention of up to one million Uighurs in the far western Xinjiang province.

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"The Chinese government is creating a high-tech police state in (Xinjiang) that is both a gross violation of privacy and worldwide human rights", the letter said.

Its findings were issued after a two-day review this month of China's record, the first since 2009.

In the past, China has rejected allegations of subjecting Uighurs to torture and discrimination in Xinjiang. Panel expert Gay McDougall described it at the time as a "no-rights zone". "The argument that "a million Uighurs are detained in re-education centres" is completely untrue", Chinese representative Hu Lianhe this month told the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.

China has said Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tension between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority.

The UN says it is alarmed by reports of the mass detention of Uighurs in China and called for the release of those held on a counter terrorism "pretext".

It also cited reports alleging many Uighurs who had left China had been forced to return to the country, and it called on Beijing to disclose their whereabouts and status.

The U.N. panel urged China to allow Tibetans access to passports for foreign travel and promote the use of the Tibetan language in education, the judicial system, and media.

The U.S. State Department has said that it is deeply troubled by Beijing's crackdown in Xinjiang, but has declined to comment on the possibility of future sanctions on Chen and others.

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