Mon 22 February 2021:
The United Kingdom will call on Monday for the United Nations to be given “urgent and unfettered” access to Xinjiang to investigate reports of abuses in the far western Chinese region, as Britain returns to the UN Human Rights Council as a voting member.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is also expected to condemn the rights record of fellow council members China and Russia and raise concerns about Myanmar and Belarus, his office said.
On China, Raab will refer to reports of abuses in Xinjiang, including torture, forced labour and the forced sterilisation of women. “They are taking place on an industrial scale,” he will tell the meeting, according to his office.
“The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, or another independent fact-finding expert, must – and I repeat must – be given urgent and unfettered access to Xinjiang.”
PIPELINE IN HAMAS-RULED GAZA
AND HANGOVERS AS EXCISE
DUTIES GO UP
BRILLIANT MAN WHO DEVELOPED
THE FIRST CAMERA OBSCURA
IS COMING AFTER COVID-19
GLOBAL VACCINE CERTIFICATE
HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS TELL UK
WITH UK COVID-19 VARIANT: STUDY
LANDMARK SYRIA TORTURE TRIAL
TO CREATE GLOBAL
MURDER CRITICAL FOR JUSTICE:
‘TO DECLASSIFY REPORT’ INTO
JAMAL KHASHOGGI MURDER
China has been widely condemned for detaining hundreds of thousands of people in Xinjiang and placing them in what it calls “vocational training centres” that it says are necessary to stamp out “extremism” and give people new skills. China’s critics have called them concentration camps.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has been calling on China to allow her to visit the region since December 2018. A year ago, she asked for “unfettered access” to the region.
Beijing has previously said it would welcome UN officials in Xinjiang providing that they stay out of the country’s internal affairs.
An Australian think-tank last year reported China was expanding its network of detention centres in Xinjiang, even as it said it was winding down the “re-education” programme.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said it had identified more than 380 “suspected detention facilities” in the region, where the United Nations says more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking residents have been held in recent years.
The Human Rights Council is due to begin its annual session on Monday.
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