UN human rights office urges China to release all Uyghur Muslims from detention in Xinjiang

Uyghur Muslims

Uyghur Muslims living in Turkey protesting against China (File image)

Photo : AP

The United Nations Human Rights office on Saturday renewed its call for China to release all Uyghurs and other Muslim communities who were in the Xinjiang region. The development came days after the agency released a report on the forced detention of more than a million Uyghurs.
Notably, the report was published minutes before Michelle Bachelet stepped down as UN Human Rights chief on August 31. As per agency spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani, several interactions took place between China and Bachelet before she completed her four-year term in the office.

“There is contact, and we hope that the contact will remain, and the engagement will remain as well… We are constantly under pressure from all sides. But in response to your specific question, no, there has not been pressure following the issuing of the report to do or not do anything. And now, so that the assessment is out, we hope to carry forward with much more renewed energy,” said Shamdasani as quoted by IANS.

Also Read: Follow recommendations of Xinjiang report, UN chief Antonio Guterres tells Beijing

In the report, the UN agency said that allegations of patterns of torture and forced medical treatment in Xinjiang were credible. It also stated that the situation in the region required urgent attention from the international community.

Notably, China opposed the release of the 45-page report. The report was based on findings from independent advocacy groups and journalists who documented concerns about human rights in Xinjiang for years. Meanwhile, China accused the Western countries of maligning its reputation.

In the past few years, the Chinese government had detained millions of Uyghur Muslims and reportedly sent them to so-called vocational centres