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West, Japan rebuke China at UN for detention of Uighurs

West, Japan rebuke China at UN for detention of Uighurs”

"What we have here is human rights abuses and that's why Michelle Bachelet needs to be able to go there with her team of experts on terms that she considers acceptable so that they can make a credible and independent evaluation of what's going on", he said. The joint letter was sent on behalf of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and 15 EU States, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with resolutely opposed to this".

The signatories issued the statement as a "letter" at the council and stopped short of seeking a council resolution - a testament to the challenges of building support against increasingly influential China.

"It is a first collective response on Xinjiang", a Western diplomat told Reuters on July 10.

In addition to travel restrictions and a massive surveillance network, China is estimated to have arbitrarily detained up to one million Muslims in prison-like detention centres in Xinjiang, with reports of harsh treatment and poor living conditions inside.

China says the camps are "training centers" to equip people with employable skills to help combat Islamist extremism in Xinjiang province, still the site of frequent violence.

China is reportedly holding one million people, mostly ethnic Uighurs, in internment camps in Xinjiang.

"We urge these countries to respect the facts, discard prejudice, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and stop politicising human rights issues and intervening in China's internal affairs with the Xinjiang issue", he said.

"The joint statement is important not only for Xinjiang's population, but for people around the world who depend on the UN's leading rights body to hold even the most powerful countries to account", said John Fisher, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch.

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The advocacy group hailed the "important" statement at the United Nations -backed Human Rights Council, which amounts to a symbolic step toward greater expression of concern about China's policies in Xinjiang. On the contrary, as a Council member, China must uphold the highest standards in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, and fully cooperate with the Council.

"We also call on China to refrain from the arbitrary detention and restrictions onfreedom of movement of Uighurs, and other Muslim and minority communities in Xinjiang".

Bachelet, a former president of Chile, has pushed China to grant the United Nations access to investigate reports of disappearances and arbitrary detentions, particularly of Muslims in Xinjiang.

While China restricts access and reporting in Xinjiang, Geng said it would welcome a visit by Michelle Bachelet.

He said the Trump administration's withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council over the panel's criticism of Israel was a "very shortsighted decision".

No Western delegation was willing to take the lead and expose itself as a "ringleader" through a joint statement or resolution, diplomats said.

The UN letter 'attacks, slanders, and has unwarranted accusations against China, ' said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

At the start of the three-week session, which ends on Friday, the Xinjiang vice governor responded to the worldwide condemnation of the state-run detention camps by saying that they were vocational centres which had helped "save" people from "extremist" influences.



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