Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress attends an event concerning China ahead of the Human Rights Council review in Geneva, Switzerland, November 2, 2018. Picture taken November 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Activists urge deep scrutiny of China at U.N. rights gathering this week
  • Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:00

Stephanie Nebehay
NOVEMBER 4, 2018 / 8:11 AM 

GENEVA (Reuters) - Activists called for U.N. member states to pressure China this week to account for alleged human rights violations, including the suspected mass detention of one million Muslim Uighurs in far-western Xinjiang province.

China’s record will be examined by the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday, the first time since 2013, in a regular review expected to focus on its treatment of ethnic minorities, especially Uighurs and Tibetans.

China says Xinjiang faces a threat from Islamist militants and separatists. It rejects all accusations of mistreatment in an area where hundreds have been killed in unrest between Uighurs and members of the ethnic Han Chinese majority.

While denying the allegations of arbitrary detentions and political re-education across a network of secret camps, however, officials have recently said some citizens guilty of minor offences were being sent to vocational centers to provide employment opportunities.

Activists sharply criticized Beijing’s rights record.

“In the last five years, generally the human rights situation in China has been getting worse, particularly in east Turkestan (Xinjiang) and Tibet, there has been an unimaginable deterioration,” said Dolkun Isa, president of the Munich-based World Uighur Congress.”That’s why we expect that the countries should be speaking loudly and strongly,” he told Reuters in an interview at an activist forum on China held in Geneva on Friday.