New UN Report Alleges Crimes Against Humanity- China
Long-Awaited Analysis Urges Accountability for Uyghurs
New UN Report Alleges Crimes Against Humanity
(Geneva) – The Chinese government has targeted Uyghur and other Turkic communities. It is in the Xinjiang region for abuses that could amount to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today. Its according to a groundbreaking United Nations report released on August 31, 2022.
Outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s report contains testimony of victims of mass arbitrary detention, torture, cultural persecution, forced labour and other serious human rights violations. And recommends recommendations to States, businesses and the international community Take action to stop abuses and advance justice and accountability.
John Fisher, deputy director of global advocacy at Human Rights Watch said about it. He said- For the first time, the United Nations human rights chief has exposed serious abuses by the Chinese government and concluded that they may amount to crimes against humanity.
Victims and their families long vilified by the Chinese government finally see their persecution recognized and can now look to the United Nations and its member states to take action to hold those responsible to account.
Human Rights Watch said the High Commissioner’s report called into question the Chinese government’s blatant disregard for its international human rights obligations.
It calls on businesses to fulfill their responsibilities to respect human rights and asks UN member states and agencies to follow up, which can take the form of investigations to interview victims and survivors, identify those responsible, gather evidence, and propose response strategies and accountability.
Recent similar mechanisms at the UN Human Rights Council include commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions and independent international monitoring missions. It could also lead to the identification of all missing and enforced disappearances so that they can be reunited with their families.
Human Rights Watch said the report should be formally presented to the Human Rights Council as a priority so that countries can discuss the report’s findings. And it take the necessary steps to implement its recommendations.
In the report, the High Commissioner detailed widespread abuses across Xinjiang, including targeting cultural and religious practices, family separation, arbitrary arrest and detention, rape, torture and enforced disappearances.
The report concludes that “the extent to which the arbitrary and discriminatory detention of Uighurs and members of other predominantly Muslim groups, in accordance with law and policy, may constitute an international crimes, especially crimes against humanity.
Detainees interviewed for the report described conditions in so-called “vocational training centres” that would amount to torture or other forms of ill-treatment. It is including with “beatings with police batons, including electric batons, tied to so-called “tiger chairs”; being beaten by people were interrogated by splashing water; prolonged solitary confinement; and forced to sit motionless on small stools for extended periods of time.”
The report noted that Chinese authorities continued to publicly criticize victims and their relatives now living abroad about their experiences in Xinjiang, engaging in acts of intimidation, threats and reprisals. In the words of one interviewee: “We have to sign a document to keep silent about the camps. Otherwise, we will be locked up longer and the whole family will be punished.”
The report also draws on analysis of Chinese laws, regulations and policies. The findings are in line with findings from academics, journalists and human rights groups documenting serious international crimes published since 2017. Over the past five years, Human Rights Watch has documented mass arbitrary detentions, widespread surveillance, and crimes against humanity in the region.
The High Commissioner has been systematically assessing growing evidence of human rights abuses by the Chinese government against Uighurs and other Turkic communities. A treaty body review and a report by a UN human rights expert also informed the new report, reinforcing concerns about abuses such as secret detentions and unlawful family separation.
In June 2020, 50 UN human rights experts urged the Human Rights Council to create an independent UN mandate to monitor. And report on human rights abuses in China, in part in response to Chinese government resistance to UN human rights reviews also.
In June 2022, another group of UN experts reiterated the 2020 statement and again urged Chinese authorities to allow them to investigate ” allegations of gross violations of human rights and suppression of fundamental freedoms in the country”.
In May, Bachelet visited China, despite being unable to travel freely or engage with his interlocutors, and had little direct contact with affected communities. In an end-of-mission statement issued on May 28, Bachelet stressed that the visit was not an investigation, noting that it required “detailed, methodical and careful investigative work.”
The new report lays a solid foundation for further action by the United Nations and the Human Rights Council to hold China accountable.
It has never been more important for the United Nations system to stand with Beijing and with the victims,” Fisher said. “The government should immediately launch an independent investigation and take all necessary steps to advance accountability and provide Uyghurs and others with the justice they deserve.