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China faces critics of Muslim detention

The BEIJING-China government gave a fierce defense of its mass conservation Muslims at a UN panel on human rights in…

The BEIJING-China government gave a fierce defense of its mass conservation Muslims at a UN panel on human rights in Geneva on Tuesday, which became a deal with the United States and other critics of Chinese politics.

With protesters against China marching outside, representatives from about a dozen countries, most of them Westerners, dismissed criticism of the Chinese delegation about its country of detention camp in the Xinjiang region as part of a comprehensive review of China’s record of the UN Human Rights Council.

In alphabetical order, Australia presented the tone and urged China to “cease arbitrary detention of Uighurs and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang”.

Mark Cassayre, with the United States mission in the UN in Geneva, was the last among the critics, demanded China shut down the detention centers and release all prisoners.

A Wall Street Journal survey reveals what is happening in China’s growing network of detention camps, where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uighur’s faiths have been detained. Screenshot / Video: Clément Bürge

China boldly defended its detention of what U.N. say has been up to a million people, mostly Uighurs, saying it is effective to fight terrorism and protect the majority in China.

Le Yucheng, head of the Chinese delegation, repeated a new government’s declaration that the camps are vocational schools and said they were an innovative solution for protecting people and preventing the spread of extremism.

“This protects the great human rights majority while saving these people,” said Mr. Le. “It is another important contribution from China to the global contradiction.”

The exchange was part of a regular cycle of human rights that every country must undergo once in a few years. In China’s case, appearance was the first because Chinese authorities began to greatly expand mass surveillance and political indoctrination of Muslims in Xinjiang, a program aimed at promoting loyalty to the communist party and fighting a sometimes violent separatist movement.

Three months ago, in appearance before another UN panel, Chinese officials denied reports of mass arrest and political indoctrination in Xinjiang and instead said that smaller criminals had been sent to vocational training centers.

Since then, the government has acknowledged The facilities have an ideological purpose and credit rat them with final violent terrorist incidents that Beijing has said is linked to foreign Islamic militants.

 Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng is coming to Tuesday's UN Human Rights Meeting in Geneva on Tuesday.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng arrives at Tuesday’s UN Human Rights Council Geneva on Tuesday.



At the appearance before the panel, the mayor of Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, captured prisoners as saying they were happy to prove themselves inoculating religious extremism.

“They never realized how rich and colorful life can be,” said Mayor Yasim Sadiq, himself a Uighur.

Facilities seen by the Wall Street Journal on recent visits to Xinjiang and others described by former prisoners are imprisoned surrounded by high walls, guardrails and razor wire dragons. Some former prisoners described are subjected to mental and physical torture while they are in.

Chinese officials have denied torture saying that the rights sent to the facilities are respected.

Legal groups have said that Beijing is trying to erase Muslim cultural identities as part of a compulsory assimilation program and that the effort presents a test for the international human rights regime.

“The branches go to the heart of the entire human rights system and what it was about when it was built after World War II,” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of New York-based Non-Human Rights Groups in China. Ms. Hom was an observer in the Palais des Nations, where Tuesday’s panel convened.

 Dolkun Isa, president of the Uyghur Congress, supporting a peaceful establishment of an independent state in Xinjiang, is participating in protest against China in Geneva on Tuesday.

Dolkun Isa, President of the Uyghur Congress, which supports the peaceful establishment of an independent state in Xinjiang, is participating in protest against China in Geneva on Tuesday.



Representatives from several countries demanded that China should give U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights access the camps in Xinjiang to verify government statements about their purpose.

Reviews before the UN Human Rights Council are limited. Participating countries are given less than one minute to make statements. The Council gives the government review the authority to decide which panel recommendations they want to accept, and it has no method of punishing those who are not improving. It makes unions from China unlikely, experts said.

“I do not think Chinese behavior will change,” said Nury Turkel, president of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, who was not in Geneva. He said the Chinese president, Xi Jinping government “wants to take control of the so-called Uighur problem once and for all.”

Turkey was among more than 50 Muslim countries participating in the review and the only one who came close to criticism China over the Xinjiang issue on Tuesday, urges the country to improve the conditions for ethnic groups trying to “maintain their distinct identity, religion and language” .

Kazakhstan, adjacent to Xinjiang, began to discuss the detention but was cut while the US delegation was among the sharpest, commenting it as observer statistics, after withdrawing from the Council in June following the UN’s criticism of the Trump Administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border.

China’s representative took a sweep in the US and other critics and said that Beijing “does not accept politically accused s from a few countries with bias.”

In a national report sent to the UN for the review, Beijing said that it did not there is “any universal way for the development of human rights in the world”. Instead, it said, the country undertakes to strive for “human rights with Chinese characteristics”.

Write to Josh Chin at [email protected]

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