China condemns rights group's report on Xinjiang and Uighur Muslims

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Feb 24, 2021, 11.22 PM(IST)

A Chinese police officer outside a vocational education centre in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The rights group on Wednesday highlighted how China has dramatically increased the systemic prosecution of Muslim minorities through formal courts systems on dubious charges such as "picking quarrels".

Beijing has harshly reacted against the Human Rights Watch (HRW) that slammed China for the inhuman treatment it metes out to the Uighur Muslims.

The rights group on Wednesday highlighted how China has dramatically increased the systemic prosecution of Muslim minorities through formal courts systems on dubious charges such as "picking quarrels".

"Despite the veneer of legality, many of those in Xinjiang's prisons are ordinary people who were convicted for going about their lives and practising their religion," HRW researcher Maya Wang was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. 

The organisation also said that over 250,000 people in Xinjiang have been sentenced and imprisoned since 2016. 

To this end, the Chinese foreign ministry was quick to label the report as prejudiced.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the ministry, said, "The organisation you mentioned has always been full of prejudice on issues related to China, often spreading false statements to smear China, and their allegations should not be trusted."

Earlier on Monday, China lambasted the non-binding motion passed by the Canadian parliament that labelled PRC’s treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority as ‘genocide’. 

This came after Donald Trump's outgoing administration last month said Beijing's incarceration of mostly Muslim minorities in its far western Xinjiang region amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity.

"It's a word that is extremely loaded and is certainly something that we should be looking at in the case of the Uighurs," Trudeau told a news conference. 

Also, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday denounced what he called the "institutionalised repression" of China's Uighur minority.

Speaking by video link at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Le Drian said that witness accounts and documents from the Chinese region of Xinjiang pointed to "unjustifiable practises towards Uighurs, and a system of large-scale surveillance and institutionalised repression."

Rights groups believe that at least one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslim minorities are incarcerated in camps in the western region of Xinjiang.

Le Drian cited Xinjiang among several examples of "considerable regressions for human rights" in 2020.

Joseph Borrel, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, has called on China to allow meaningful access to Xinjiang.

He said, “Once again, we urge China to allow meaningful access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including high commissioner Bachelet. This is key to enable an independent, impartial and transparent assessment of the grave concerns that the international community has.”

"The EU calls on china to comply with its obligation under national and international law, to respect and to protect human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities in Xinjiang, in Tibet and in Inner Mongolia.”

In a nutshell, China may be trying to push back, but its crimes are too obvious to whitewash.

The implications could be severe.

Last we checked, calls to move the 2022 Winter Olympics away from China were growing exponentially.

Beijing cannot afford to let go of the games -- it has a whopping 3.9 billion dollar budget set for the Olympics.

But as China's global reputation is abysmally low, and as the world looks for ways to punish China, the cancellation of the Winter Olympic games could be a good start.

Read in App