China’s Uyghur Abuses ‘May Constitute Crimes Against Humanity’: U.N.

Former human rights chief released report 13 minutes before stepping down.

QUICK FACTS:
  • A report from the United Nations (U.N.) outgoing human rights chief has brought legitimacy to the assertion that China is committing human rights violations against the Uyghur people.
  • Former Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet, who stepped down on Wednesday, published the 48-page report just 13 minutes before officially leaving her position.
  • In her report, Bachelet called on countries that are part of the U.N. to stop repatriating the Uyghurs people to China, as the nation is conducting large-scale and unwarranted detentions.
  • “Serious human rights violations have been committed in XUAR in the context of the Government’s application of counter-terrorism and counter-‘extremism’ strategies,” the U.N. office said in the report, referring to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
  • POLITICO’s assessment of the almost 50-page document asserted that the report “reads like an Orwellian novel,” in conveying the plight of the persecuted minority.
  • The port states that the violations “flow from a domestic ‘anti-terrorism law system’ that is deeply problematic from the perspective of international human rights norms and standards.”
PORTIONS OF THE REPORT AND RESPONSES TO THE FINDINGS:
  • “Almost all interviewees described either injections, pills or both being administered regularly, as well as blood samples being regularly collected in the [vocational education and training center] facilities,” the report stated. “Interviewees were consistent in their descriptions of how the administered medicines made them feel drowsy … None of the interviewees were properly informed about these medical treatments.”
  • The report added: “Several women recounted being subject to invasive gynaecological examinations, including one woman who described this taking place in a group setting which ‘made old women ashamed and young girls cry.'”
  • Sophie Richardson, China director of Human Rights Watch, an NGO responded to the report, saying, “These damning findings explain why Beijing fought tooth and nail to prevent the publication of this report.”
  • Rahima Mahmut, a U.K.-based Uyghur campaigner was less than enthusiastic, stating, “In a final insult to Uyghur survivors, the report fails to mention the word genocide a single time. You have to wonder what the U.N. is for if it can’t admit what is staring them plainly in the face.” 
BACKGROUND:
  • American Faith previously reported on the plight of the Uyghur people, including when western businesses cut ties with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine but have remained silent about concerns about the genocide of the population.
  • More recently the Chinese Communist Party is accused of using their COVID protocols to further discriminate against the Uyghurs closing “residential communities” in the occupied Uyghur region off from other parts of the nation.