The foreign ministers of Canada and the UK and the US Secretary of State released a joint statement Monday expressing concern over the Chinese government’s “human rights violations and abuses” in its Xinjiang region against Uyghur Muslims.
“The evidence, including from the Chinese government’s own documents, satellite imagery and eyewitness testimony, is overwhelming.
“China’s extensive program of repression includes severe restrictions on religious freedoms, the use of forced labour, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilisations, and the concerted destruction of Uyghur heritage,” said the statement issued by Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Mentioning that they “have taken coordinated action on measures, in parallel to measures by the EU,” the three top diplomats said they want to clarify what they think about the “human rights violations and abuses.”
“We underline the importance of transparency and accountability and call on China to grant the international community, including independent investigators from the United Nations, journalists and foreign diplomats, unhindered access to Xinjiang,” they said.
“We will continue to stand together to shine a spotlight on China’s human rights violations. We stand united and call for justice for those suffering in Xinjiang.”
The Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uyghurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
Up to 1 million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts./aa