UN body told China’s Xinjiang a ‘massive internment camp’
‘REEDUCATION’ CENTRES Some Uyghurs are treated as enemies of the state
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.
Chinese paramilitary personnel stand guard at an event to award those who participated in a “crackdown on terrorists”.