A UN committee has called on China to immediately investigate all allegations of human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including those of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, forced labour, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody.
Acting under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) also called on China to immediately release all persons arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in the XUAR, whether in the so-called vocational education and training centers. (VETC) or other detention centers.
In a statement, the United Nations Human Rights Office said the Committee urged the State party to immediately cease all intimidation and reprisals against Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim communities, the diaspora and those who take the speak in their defence, both at home and abroad.
He called on Beijing to ensure that victims of human rights abuses, including Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim communities, receive adequate and effective remedies and reparations.
According to OHCHR, the committee also recommended that China undertake a comprehensive review of its legal framework governing national security, counter-terrorism and minority rights in the XUAR to ensure that it fully meets its obligations as a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Furthermore, it urged the State party to effectively implement its 2018 recommendations, as well as the 2015 Concluding Observations of the Committee against Torture and the assessment by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the concerns on human rights in XUAR of August 2022.
“The CERD early warning and urgent action procedure aims primarily to examine situations that may lead to conflict in order to take appropriate preventive measures to avoid large-scale human rights violations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD),” the Human Rights Office said.
A total of 182 States are parties to the ICERD. They are required to be subject to regular reviews by the Committee of 18 independent international experts on how they apply the Convention.
In 2018, the Committee examined the periodic reports submitted by China and issued concluding observations in which it expressed a number of concerns, in particular about the human rights violations of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. in the XUAR.
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