The European Union called on China to allow “meaningful access” to the regime’s detention centers in Xinjiang

Vocational Education Center in Yining, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, on September 4, 2018. REUTERS / Thomas Peter

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, asked China on Tuesday to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, visit and investigate alleged human rights violations of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region. He also extended the request to the situation in Tibet.

“Once again, we urge China to allow meaningful access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including High Commissioner Bachelet. This is key to allow an independent, impartial and transparent assessment of the serious concerns that the international community has ”Borrell told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

International human rights organizations estimated at one million the number of Uyghurs who would be held in concentration camps in the region, whose existence was recognized by China, which calls them “reeducation camps” and whose existence justifies with the argument that they are centers “to combat extremism”.

Xinjiang Work Camps (Google Earth)
Xinjiang Work Camps (Google Earth)

Despite repeated refusals from Beijing, numerous reports have documented practices in the fields ranging from the force-feeding of pigs to a predominantly Muslim population – prohibited by religion – to forced labor, the chaining of students, gang rapes and numerous torture.

The last of them was published by the chain CNN, which cited the case of a teacher who was taken to one of the camps to teach Mandarin to a group of detainees, as Beijing seeks the assimilation of the ethnic group. “When the guards drank at night, the policemen told each other how they raped and tortured the girls”Said the teacher. Sidik saw with his own eyes how a woman died as a result of these gang rapes. In herd. There was no spark of life on his face. His cheeks were colorless, he wasn’t breathing”, Recordó Qelbinur Sidik.

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There are countries that have spoken out more vehemently about the actions of the Chinese regime. The administration of Donald Trump before leaving the Executive Branch classified the actions as “genocide and crimes against humanity”. The current Secretary of State for the Joe Biden administration, Antony Blinken, said Washington will follow similarly “defending human rights and democratic values ​​in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong”.

Along the same lines, the Parliament of Canada adopted a non-binding motion on Monday that equates China’s treatment of its Uighur minority with “genocide”, a decision that Beijing called “malicious provocation.”

The motion, presented at the initiative of the Conservatives (opposition), was adopted in the House of Commons by 266 votes in favor (out of 338), and no votes against. The approved text also urges the government of Justin Trudeau to make this decision official. Cabinet ministers were practically the only ones who abstained from voting.

The text recognizes that “Uighurs in China have been and are subject to genocide.”

Conservatives call on the liberal government to respect Parliament and officially recognize that genocide is taking place in China“Said its leader, Erin O’Toole, who for months has demanded the Canadian government to toughen its stance against Beijing.

Demonstration to encourage Canada and other countries to consider qualifying China's treatment of its Uighur population and Muslim minorities as genocide, in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, United States, on February 19, 2021. REUTERS / Leah Millis
Demonstration to encourage Canada and other countries to consider qualifying China’s treatment of its Uighur population and Muslim minorities as genocide, in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, United States, on February 19, 2021. REUTERS / Leah Millis

In another area related to the Chinese regime, Borrell asked the authorities to respect democratic principles and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

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“It must be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy under the principle of one country, two systems”, he expressed.

On the other hand, the Spanish official also denounced the “Unacceptable crackdown on peaceful protesters in Russia” and called for restoring “legitimate civil government” in Myanmar, which was overthrown in a military coup on February 1, given that “as everywhere, democracy must prevail,” he said.

(With information from Reuters, EFE and AP)

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