A UN committee has called on China to immediately probe all allegations of human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including those of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, forced labour, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody.
Acting under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) also called on China to immediately release all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in the XUAR, whether in so-called Vocational Education and Training Centres (VETCs) or other detention facilities. In a statement, UN Human Rights Office said the Committee urged the State party to immediately cease all intimidation and reprisals against Uyghur and other ethnic Muslim communities, the diaspora and those who speak out in their defence, both domestically and abroad.
It asked Beijing to ensure that victims of human rights violations, including Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim communities, are provided with adequate and effective remedies and reparation.
According to OHCHR, the committee also recommended that China undertake a full review of its legal framework governing national security, counter-terrorism and minority rights in the XUAR to ensure its full compliance with its obligations as a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Furthermore, it urged the State party to effectively implement its 2018 recommendations, as well as the 2015 Concluding Observations of the Committee against Torture, and the UN Human Rights Office’s assessment of human rights concerns in XUAR of August 2022.
“CERD’s early warning and urgent action procedure primarily aim to consider situations which might lead to conflicts in order to take appropriate preventive actions to avoid full-scale violations of human rights under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD),” Human Rights Office said.
A total of 182 States are party to ICERD. They are required to undergo regular reviews by the Committee of 18 independent international experts on how they are implementing the Convention.
In 2018, the Committee reviewed the periodic reports submitted by China and issued Concluding Observations in which it expressed a number of concerns, including about human rights violations of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in the XUAR. (ANI)