United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke on Friday, Feb. 26, about the complex human rights situation in China, accusing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of restricting basic civil and political freedoms in the name of national security and CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus or COVID-19 measures.
“Activists, lawyers, and human rights defenders—as well as some foreign nationals—face arbitrary criminal charges, detention or unfair trials,” Bachelet told the Human Rights Council, as reported by Reuters.
Bachelet referred to the more than 600 people who are under arrest and under investigation under Hong Kong’s current biting national security law for participating in pro-democracy protests.
She also spoke about reports of arbitrary abuse against Uighurs in China’s northeastern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, which have detailed the mistreatment, sexual violence, and forced labor to which the Muslim minority is subjected.
She urged a thorough and independent investigation into the situation. Bachelet also said she hoped to reach an agreement with CCP officials for a visit to the country.
As noted by Reuters, activists and U.N. experts have estimated that there are around 1 million Uighurs detained in camps located in Xinjiang, while the CCP denies persecution of the community, claiming that the internment camps are vocational training sites.
The Netherlands recently joined the countries condemning the human rights situation in China after the Dutch Parliament declared as genocide the abusive treatment to which the Uighurs are being subjected, even showing abusive sterilization practices aimed at preventing the births of the Uighur minority.
In January, UK First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the CCP’s human rights violations barbaric. “It is truly horrific barbarism we had hoped lost to another era, in practice today as we speak, in one of the leading members of the international community,” Raab told the British Parliament.
We have a moral duty to respond,” Raab added. Torture, forced labor, and sterilizations are taking place “on an industrial scale” in Xinjiang, he added.
On Jan. 19, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially declared the CCP was committing genocide against the Uighur minority.
“After careful review of the available facts, I have determined that the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Pompeo said.
Contrary to the Trump administration’s efforts to expose the massive human rights violation being committed against various religious groups in China, Biden recently treated the issue with the Uighurs as a cultural issue.
“So the idea that I’m not going to speak out against what he’s [Xi Jinping] doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China, and Taiwan, trying to end the One China Policy by making it forceful,” Biden said last Feb. 16.
“Culturally there are different norms in each country and their leaders are expected to follow them,” added Biden, who was accused of making propaganda for the Chinese communist regime.
Last Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi again reinforced the rhetoric of CCP authorities, assuring that “there has never been so-called genocide, forced labor, or religious oppression in Xinjiang.”