BEIJING: The international community should impose sanctions on China over its treatment of minorities in its far west region, Human Rights Watch said Monday, where as many as one million people may have been swept up in mass detentions.
China has long imposed draconian restrictions on the lives of Muslim minorities in its Xinjiang region in the name of combating terrorism and separatism, with police measures intensifying in recent years.
Upwards of one million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities are being held in counter-extremism centres, according to estimates cited by a United Nations panel on racial discrimination last month. In response to the government’s actions, the international community should “impose targeted sanctions” on Chinese officials “linked to abuses” in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report detailing China’s repressive actions in the region.
The Chinese government has impeded reporting in Xinjiang, preventing a clear accounting of the situation. But mounting evidence in the form of government documents and the testimony of escapees suggests Beijing has interned large numbers of people in a sprawling network of extra-judicial internment camps, where they are subject to political and cultural indoctrination.
The report says prisoners in the camps are “forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, sing praises of the Chinese Communist Party, and … those who resist or are deemed to have failed to “learn” are punished.” HRW says prisoners have no legal rights or access to lawyers or family.-AFP