Geneva: Seeking to galvanize an international response to allegations of widespread abuses, human rights groups on Monday called for a United Nations investigation into China’s mass detention of Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang. The rights organizations urged the UN to set up an international fact-finding mission during its session that starts at the end of February.
Leading human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the World Uyghur Congress have called for an international fact-finding mission to the “political education” camps in the northeastern province of Xinjiang.
The New York Times quoted Kumi Naidoo, secretary-general of Amnesty International as saying “Xinjiang has become an open-air prison — a place where Orwellian high-tech surveillance, political indoctrination, forced cultural assimilation, arbitrary arrests and disappearances have turned ethnic minorities into strangers in their own land.”
The Independent quoted Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, as saying “The abuse in Xinjiang today is so severe that it cries out for international action.” He added, “the purpose of this detention is to erase the ethnic and religious identities of Turkic Muslims and ensure their loyalty to only the Chinese government, the Communist Party and the would-be leader for life, President Xi Jinping.”
According to the former inmates, Muslims are denied contact with family members, forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist Party and in some cases subjected to torture.