UNGA: 39 countries target China over its policy towards Hong Kong, Xinjiang
Geneva: As many as 39 nations have condemned China's policy towards people in Hong Kong and Xinjiang regions.
"We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong," said Germany’s UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen, who led the initiative during a meeting on human rights on Tuesday at the UN.
"I have the honour of delivering this cross-regional joint statement on behalf of the following 39 countries," the German ambassador said.
"On Xinjiang, we are gravely concerned about the existence of a large network of 'political re-education' camps where credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained," he said.
"We have seen an increasing number of reports of gross human rights violations. There are severe restrictions on freedom of religion or belief and the freedoms of movement, association, and expression as well as on Uyghur culture," he said.
"Widespread surveillance disproportionately continues to target Uyghurs and other minorities and more reports are emerging of forced labour and forced birth control including sterilization," he said.
The ambassador said China should respect human rights of religious and ethnic minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet.
He said: "We call on China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her Office, and relevant special procedure mandate holders; to urgently implement CERD’s eight recommendations related to Xinjiang, including by refraining from the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and members of other minorities."
Speaking on Hong Kong, he said: "We have deep concerns about elements of the National Security Law that allow for certain cases to be transferred for prosecution to the Chinese mainland. We urge the relevant authorities to guarantee the rights which are protected under the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and the Sino-British Joint Declaration, including freedoms of speech, the press and assembly."