Grave Concerns Raised over Xinjiang at U.N. Human Rights Council


Berlin, June 22 (Jiji Press)--More than 40 countries, at an online meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council Tuesday, issued a joint statement saying that they are "gravely concerned" about the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region.

The statement was read out at the meeting by Leslie Norton, permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations, on behalf of the participating countries, including Japan, the United States and Britain.

"Credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and that there is widespread surveillance disproportionately targeting Uighurs and members of other minorities," the statement said.

In addition, the statement noted, "There are also reports of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, forced sterilization, sexual and gender-based violence and forced separation of children from their parents by authorities."

The countries then urged China to allow "immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang" for independent observers, including U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. They also expressed deep concerns about the human rights situations in Hong Kong and Tibet.

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