On the sidelines of the UN, pushing China to be punished for abuses

NEW YORK (AP) — The United Nations will be judged by how it addresses the persecution of ethnic minorities, diplomats and human rights advocates in China. During the institutional assemblycalling for strong action After a report raised the specter of “crimes against humanity”.

Over the years, rights watchdogs and Reporter exposes brutal treatment of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in remote western Xinjiang, China accused of ruthless torture campaign, sexual assault and ethnic cleansing. The allegations, already widely accepted in the West, were given new endorsement in a landmark report released last month by the UN Human Rights Office.

“Inaction is no longer possible,” Fernand de Varenez, the UN special rapporteur on minority rights, told a forum sponsored by the Atlantic Council and Human Rights Watch as world leaders were visiting New York. “If we let this go unpunished, what kind of message is being spread?”

Jeffrey Prescott, the U.S. deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said the agency’s integrity was at stake in its response to China.

“How these atrocities are addressed ultimately depends on the credibility of that system, and the credibility of our international system itself,” he said. “It is deeply disheartening to see a country so important to the creation of the modern United Nations system and with permanent Security Council status in breach of its commitments so badly.”

This UN report on alleged infringements in China released In the last minutes of former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet’s last day in office. Its release is thought to have been delayed for a long time. Bachelet never explained the time.

China angrily responds to its release, calling it “a patchwork of disinformation” and describing it as a fabrication fabricated by Western countries.It issued a lengthy rebuttal and vowed to stop cooperating with the UN Human Rights Office, and Chinese diplomats are lobbying others to thwart the possibility of further scrutiny of its activities in Xinjiang.

Rob Roe, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, called China’s response unsurprising and said new action was worth taking.

“We need to deal with this. We need to deal with the need for further sanctions. We need to deal with what further steps can be taken to deal with the magnitude of this crisis,” he said.

The UN report, drawn in part from interviews with more than 20 former detainees and others familiar with conditions in the eight detention centres, described being beaten, forbidden to pray and forced to perform sexual acts on guards. It said the evidence could amount to a “crime against humanity” but made no mention of the genocide that the United States and other countries have accused China of.

Bachelet’s predecessor, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said his successor deserved credit for publishing the report, but said not calling the abuses genocide was a “shortcoming.” “. Likewise, he criticized it for not calling for a formal UN commission of inquiry.

“To keep silent is to be an accomplice,” he said.

The brother of Uighur lawyer Rayhan Asat, who works for the Atlantic Council and is imprisoned in Xinjiang, urged the world to persist in taking action, not just against China, But companies that profit from abuse.

“We shouldn’t let the Chinese government get away with normalizing what the state does,” she said, “because at the end of the day, this is state violence.”


Associated Press National Writer Matt Sedensky can be reached at msedensky@ap.org and https://twitter.com/sedensky. For more AP coverage of the UN General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly.

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