UN body told China’s Xin­jiang a ‘mas­sive in­tern­ment camp’

‘RE­ED­U­CA­TION’ CEN­TRES Some Uyghurs are treated as en­e­mies of the state

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION - Su­tirtho Pa­tra­nobis spa­tra­nobis@hin­dus­tan­times.com

BEI­JING: China has turned its north­west­ern prov­ince of Xin­jiang into a “no-rights zone” and a “mas­sive in­tern­ment camp” for the Mus­lim Uyghur com­mu­nity, a United Na­tions meet­ing on hu­man rights was told.

The is­sue of the treat­ment of Uyghurs was raised at the UN meet­ing by Gay Mcdougall, vicechair of the Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion, who said she was “deeply con­cerned” by re­ports from the Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion (XUAR) that the Uyghurs were be­ing sent to re-ed­u­ca­tion camps in the name of fight­ing re­li­gious ex­trem­ism.

China is yet to of­fi­cially re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, China’s lead rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the com­mit­tee, Yu Jian­hua, said he would re­spond on Mon­day. “We have taken care­ful notes,” he said.

The prov­ince, China’s largest and where Uyghurs make up about 45 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion, is des­ig­nated as an au­tono- mous re­gion, like Ti­bet.

Mul­ti­ple news re­ports from the prov­ince and abroad have said that hun­dreds of thou­sands of Uyghurs have been packed off to camps to “re-ed­u­cated” in the past sev­eral months.

In many cases, Uyghur fam­i­lies have been sep­a­rated af­ter fam­ily mem­bers, of­ten males, were sent to the camps.

Mcdougall put on record her con­cerns af­ter read­ing re­ports that China had “turned the [Xin­jiang] Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion into some­thing that re­sem­bles a mas­sive in­tern­ment camp”.

Some Uyghurs were be­ing “treated as en­e­mies of the state based solely on their ethno-re­li­gious iden­tity,” she said.

“We are deeply con­cerned at the many nu­mer­ous and cred­i­ble re­ports that we have re­ceived that in the name of com­bat­ing re­li­gious ex­trem­ism and main­tain­ing so­cial sta­bil­ity (China) has changed the Uyghur au­ton­o­mous re­gion into some­thing that re­sem­bles a mas­sive in­tern­ship camp that is shrouded in se­crecy, a sort of ‘no rights zone.”

PARTY FIRST: STATE ME­DIA ON MOSQUE ROW

Chi­nese state me­dia has said the Com­mu­nist Party of China’s author­ity should pre­vail over re­li­gion fol­low­ing a rare stand­off be­tween the Hui Mus­lim com­mu­nity and po­lice over the planned de­mo­li­tion of a mosque in north­cen­tral China’s Ningxia re­gion.

“De­mol­ish­ing the mosque is sure to earn the ire of lo­cal reli- gious fol­low­ers. How­ever, if the lo­cal gov­ern­ment does not re­act to the il­le­gal act, it will fuel the idea that re­li­gions are su­pe­rior over China’s laws. Thus, it might set up a dan­ger­ous prece­dence and other re­li­gious sites could fol­low suit,” Global Times, the na­tion­al­ist tabloid said in an opin­ion piece. The state-con­trolled me­dia hasn’t re­ported on the mosque stand­off.

REUTERS FILE

Chi­nese para­mil­i­tary per­son­nel stand guard at an event to award those who par­tic­i­pated in a “crack­down on ter­ror­ists”.

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