The EU reiterates its condemnation of the situation in Xinjiang, after targeting the UN at crimes against humanity


The European Union has reiterated this Thursday its denunciation of the persecution of minorities such as the Uyghurs in the Chinese province of Xinjiang after the United Nations report that points to possible violations that Beijing would have committed in the Chinese western region.

“The EU welcomes the publication of the report by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. We are evaluating the content of the report but, as we have said before, the EU strongly condemns the violations in Xinjiang, in particular the persecution of the Uyghurs and other minorities,” argued the EU’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Nabila Massrali, at a press conference from Brussels.

At the same time, he has defended that the EU has brought up these issues in its bilateral meetings with China, including the summit held electronically on April 1. “The EU continues to ask China to comply with its human rights obligations in accordance with international and national law,” he stressed.

The EU has not wanted to enter, in any case, into the repercussions on the indications of forced labor, when there are only a few weeks left for the European Commission to present its proposal on the matter.

In a subsequent statement, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, stated that the details revealed by the report may constitute “international crimes and crimes against humanity”. “The report refers to the existence of large networks of re-education camps, arbitrary arrests, widespread surveillance and control measures, as well as severe restrictions on the exercise of fundamental freedoms,” he said.

At the same time, it points to indications of the use of forced labor, torture, forced abortion and sterilization, and separation of families, as well as gender and sexual violence in these camps.

The head of European diplomacy has assured that the situation in the province of Xinjiang requires the “urgent” attention of the Chinese Executive, the United Nations and Human Rights institutions. “The EU joins the call of the United Nations experts to closely monitor the situation and assess the human rights situation in China,” the statement added.

The UN report on the Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region arrives peppered with controversy after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, acknowledged pressure from Beijing to prevent publication of the document.

In its 48 pages, the report highlights the “credible” evidence of human rights violations that China would have carried out in Xinjiang against the minority of Muslim confession.

The text, in preparation for three years, ensures that “serious violations of Human Rights” would have been committed in the context of the application of anti-terrorist strategies and against “extremism” approved by Beijing in 2014.

The report commissioned by Bachelet notes that there is evidence that work and employment plans with alleged poverty alleviation purposes “may involve elements of coercion and discrimination for religious and ethnic reasons.”

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