Uyghur Muslims living in Turkey protest against China (file image)
The United Nations human rights office on Saturday renewed its call for China to release all Uyghurs and other Muslim communities who were in the Xinjiang region. The development came days after the agency published a report on the forced detention of more than a million Uyghurs.
Notably, the report was released minutes before Michelle Bachelet stepped down as UN human rights
chief on August 31. According to agency spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani, several interactions took place between China and Bachelet before she completed her four-year term in office.
“There is a contact, and we hope that the contact will remain, and that the engagement will remain as well… We are constantly under pressure from all sides. But in answer to your specific question, no, there is not there was no pressure following the publication of the report to do or not do anything. And now, as the assessment is complete, we hope to continue with much more renewed energy,” Shamdasani said as quoted by the IANS.
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In the report, the UN agency said allegations of patterns of torture and forced medical treatment in Xinjiang were credible. He also said that the situation in the region required the urgent attention of the international community.
Notably, China objected to the publication of the 45-page report. The report was based on the findings of independent advocacy groups and journalists who have documented human rights concerns in Xinjiang for years. Meanwhile, China has accused Western countries of defaming its reputation.
In recent years, the Chinese government has detained millions of Uyghur Muslims and reportedly sent them to so-called vocational training centers.