Recently several leaked photos and official documents shed new light on the extent of abuse and torture faced by the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s Xingjiang.
As the situation worsened, academics and scholars demanded that UN chief Michelle Bachelet release a report on human rights abuse.
An open letter published with signatories of 38 academics from the U.S., Europe and Australia expressed their disagreement on Beijing’s involvement in the atrocities in Xinjiang.
Right activists and the politicians from the west demanded a resignation after the UN chief’s visit, where she was accused of adopting China’s Islamophobic narrative on the Uyghurs.
The Guardian reported that several scholars accused the UN chief of contradicting the findings related to the abuses in Xinjiang.
While Bachelet was appreciated for her visit to Xinjiang, the scholars also described her statement as “deeply disturbing”.
Bachelet was accused of having “whitewashed the Chinese government’s human rights atrocities” and having “supporting Beijing’s attempt to cover up its crimes by using the Chinese government’s false ‘counter-terrorism’ framing”.
The statement also said that the chief’s silence on serious issues questions the credibility of her office.
Document leaks have shown proof of allegedly arresting the Uyghurs for practicing religion, growing a beard, visiting foreign websites and studying scripture.
The ‘Karakax list’, a database showed people sent to detention camps solely based on a minority religion.
Uyghurs’ relatives monitored and forced to attend political study sessions:
The RFA reported that during Bachelet’s six-day tour, the detained Uyghurs’ relatives were monitored and forced to attend “political study sessions.”
The report also stated that the Chinese state security police warned the Uyghurs in Xinjiang that they would face dire consequences if their relatives abroad spoke to anyone about the detention camps.
According to the report, a village police officer said that the Uyghurs were forced to attend these political sessions when a bell was sounded. “They come with a sound of a bell and leave with another sound of a bell,” he mentioned.
The political sessions ended once the UN chief’s tour ended, he added. Furthermore, if the relatives were visited by family or friends from other cities, they would be summoned to the police station and enquired about what they had discussed with their guests, he said.
ILO recommends China’s mission:
A committee of the UN, the International Labor Organization(ILO), called for a mission to review the labor policies of China in the wake of Uyghurs’ persecution.
Expressing “deep concerns” about the situation in the far western region of China, the ILO committee meets on Saturday to discuss and facilitate dialogue with China to realign its labor policies and international practices.
However, the “technical advisory mission” would fall short of a higher-level mission with investigative powers sought by several countries.
The Chinese Government with a motive of “counterterrorism” has persecuted an estimated 1 million Turkic Muslims in detention camps and prisons in Xinjiang.
The arbitrary detention of the Uyghurs, suppression of Uyghurs’ religious practices, destruction of mosques, forced labor and abortions are described as the forced assimilation of Xinjiang.
Although the Chinese government denies the existence of Xinjiang and its detention camps, international reactions differ. The United States, New Zealand, the Dutch Parliament, and Belgium condemn China’s laws and call it “severe human rights abuse”.
With growing concerns over the livelihood of the Uyghurs, the Chinese government denies any such genocide while the international committees turn a deaf ear. The condition of the Uyghurs worsens by the day while a looming cultural genocide threatens other minority communities.