At UNHRC, Dutch rights group raises issue of fixing blame on China for Xinjiang genocide
Netherlands-based rights group, the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) has raised in the UNHRC, the issue of Uyghurs, the ethnic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, and pushed to attribute blame on Chinese government authorities for human rights violations.
Aaron Magunna (Research Analyst EFSAS) during the General Debate on Item 5 (Human rights bodies and mechanisms) at the 51st Session of the UNHRC in Geneva, said, "the report does not attribute blame to Chinese government authorities. Although the report notes that 'serious human rights violations have been committed in Xinjiang, it repeatedly states that evidence is inconclusive. These statements fail to assign responsibility and stand in disconnect with the research conducted by various organizations. Let us be clear: state-led human rights violations are a political reality in Xinjiang."
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
The recent UN report on human rights concerns in Xinjiang has added to the regional international focus.
Magunna also said that the report does not comment on the political intent to destroy.
"While it lists the abuses committed by authorities, including forced labour, systemic sexual violence, and forced sterilizations, the report does not acknowledge that these policies amount to and are driven by the intent to destroy minority cultures in Xinjiang," he said.
He reiterated that the report's publication is crucial to encourage awareness of the conditions in Xinjiang.
"Future investigations, however, must go further in attributing accountability and holding relevant authorities responsible in various UN bodies, including this council. UN human rights bodies should expand their research activities in Xinjiang and exert pressure on Chinese authorities to deepen their cooperation with these investigations. Without enhanced accountability and information, the violations in Xinjiang will worsen," said the EFSAS analyst.
Since 2017, Chinese authorities have ramped up a clampdown on Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) through arbitrary arrests and lengthy detentions. An estimated 1.8 million members of these groups have been held in internment camps, where some experienced severe human rights abuses, torture, rape and forced labour.
Meanwhile, newly published research has provided compelling evidence that China is carrying out a slow genocide of the Uyghur population, due to Beijing's perception of the community as a national security threat.