‘China has turned Xinjiang into something resembling a no-rights zone’

UN human rights experts have expressed alarm over what they said were many credible reports that China had detained one million or more ethnic Uighurs in the western region of Xinjiang and forced as many as two million to submit to re-education and indoctrination. In the name of combating religious extremism, China had turned Xinjiang into “something resembling a massive internment camp, shrouded in secrecy, a sort of no-rights zone,” Gay McDougall, a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said in the opening session of a two-day review of China’s policies in Geneva.
Accounts from the region pointed to Muslims “being treated as enemies of the state solely on the basis of their ethno-religious identity,” Mr. McDougall said, citing reports from activists and scholars that many had disappeared and that even the most commonplace religious practices had become grounds for punishment. Chinese officials have said tightened security measures and limits on the religious practices of Uighurs, who are mostly Sunni Muslim, are aimed at trying to prevent violent, anti-state episodes in Uighur areas, which they have attributed to separatism, terrorism and religious extremism.
Beijing tightened controls and surveillance of Xinjiang’s population after an eruption of violence aimed at Han Chinese, the dominant ethnic group in China, in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, in 2009 and an attack in Beijing in 2013 attributed to Uighur Muslims.
But the authorities drastically increased the scale and intensity of the crackdown after the arrival of Chen Quanguo as the Communist Party secretary in charge of the region in August 2016 and the promulgation of a “de-extremification” ordinance in early 2017. More than one-fifth of all arrests in China in 2017 occurred in Xinjiang, whose 11 million people make up less than 2% of China’s population, the Hong Kong-based advocacy group China Human Rights Defenders said in a report last week drawing on official data.NY Times
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/un-confronts-china-over-holding-uighurs-in-camps/article24668645.ece 

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