China’s permanent representative to the UN Zhang Jun said Beijing strongly opposes the UN report on “credible allegations of torture and sexual abuse in China’s Xinjiang.”
“We are all well aware that the so-called Xinjiang issue is a completely politically motivated lie, which is certainly aimed at undermining China’s stability and hindering its development,” Zhang Jun told reporters in New York.
For its part, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Wednesday called the UN report “a farce orchestrated by the United States and many other Western powers.”
This comes after a report by the UN Human Rights Office said that “China’s detention of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic groups in the western region of Xinjiang may constitute a crime against humanity,” noting “serious human rights violations and practices of torture.”
According to the Associated Press, the report called for “urgent attention from the United Nations and the international community to human rights violations” in China.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, facing pressure from both sides, ignored several calls from China for her office not to release the report after a visit to Xinjiang in May.
The report, which Western diplomats and UN officials say had been in the works for months, was released minutes before Bachelet’s four-year term expired.
The report was not expected to break important new ground beyond the findings of researchers, human rights groups and journalists who have been documenting human rights issues in Xinjiang for years.
Indeed, the 48-page report largely supported previous reports presented by advocacy groups and others.
“Beijing’s repeated denial of the human rights crisis in Xinjiang is more hollow than ever as this additional report demonstrates ongoing crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses,” said Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
Source: Interfax, Associated Press