‘Crimes against humanity’ expose China’s big ‘lie’

UN report uncovers ‘credible evidence’ of ‘torture’ and internment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang

Crude political posturing has become a hallmark of President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian administration.

Fabrication replaces fact in a society where the truth is obscured in shades of red.

Even the United Nations is not immune from Beijing’s diplomatic skullduggery after the release of a “ground-breaking” UN report into human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

“We all know that the so-called Xinjiang issue is a completely fabricated lie out of political motivations and its purpose is to undermine China’s stability and to obstruct China’s development,” Zhang Jun, the Chinese ambassador to the UN in New York, said.

Yet the findings from the long-awaited 48-page report paint a picture of “arbitrary and discriminatory detention” of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, culminating in “serious human rights violations.”

A trail of torture:

  • The report uncovered “credible evidence” of “torture” and concerns of “crimes against humanity.”
  • “Forced medical treatment and adverse conditions of detention” were highlighted.
  • China also violated the “standards” of “international law.”

Delve deeper: More than one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been held in Xinjiang internment camps for “re-education” and “indoctrination,” human rights groups have reported. Many have been sexually abused.

The damning findings explain why the Chinese government fought tooth and nail to prevent publication.

Sophie Richardson, the China director at Human Rights Watch

Between the lines: “This is a game-changer for the international response to the Uyghur crisis. Despite the Chinese government’s strenuous denials, the UN has now officially recognized that horrific crimes are occurring,” Omer Kanat, the executive director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, said.

Crimes against humanity: “This document lays bare the scale and severity of the human rights violations taking place in Xinjiang – which Amnesty International previously concluded amounted to crimes against humanity,” Agnès Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International, said.

Rapid reaction: Beijing had deliberately tried to block the report before it was released. “This so-called ‘assessment’ has smeared and slandered China [and] ignored the facts,” the Chinese UN delegation said in a lengthy statement.

Big picture: UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet released the highly-controversial document during her last day in office. There were concerns that it would never see the light of day because of Beijing’s pressure.

Damning verdict: “The high commissioner’s damning findings explain why the Chinese government fought tooth and nail to prevent the publication of her Xinjiang report, which lays bare China’s sweeping rights abuses,” Sophie Richardson, the China director at Human Rights Watch, said as reported by The Washington Post.

China Factor comment: The big question is what will the international community do now. One thing is certain, leaving the report to gather dust in the UN archives is not an option, despite Beijing’s bluster.