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Group of 39 countries demands China respect for human rights in Xinjiang

A group of 39 countries, headed by Germany, demanded that China, at the United Nations (UN), Tuesday “respect the human rights” of the Uighurs in Xinjiang and was concerned about the situation in Hong Kong.

“We call on China to respect human rights, particularly of people from ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet,” said the German ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, during a meeting of the third commission of the United Nations General Assembly , dedicated to human rights.

Signatories of the appeal include the United States, most European countries, including Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Haiti, Honduras, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

“We are very concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong,” adds the statement, cited by news agencies, which also calls on China to allow “immediate and unimpeded access to Xinjiang by independent observers. , including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ”.

The group of signatories was also concerned about the existence of “a large network of political re-education camps” in the Xinjiang region, where there are credible reports that indicate that “more than one million people have been arbitrarily detained”.

“Widespread surveillance continues to focus on Uighurs and other minorities, with information on forced labor and forced contraception, including sterilizations,” the group said.

The 39 countries also drew attention to the situation in Hong Kong and assured that the controversial national security law goes against China’s international obligations.

Immediately after the accusations, Pakistan read a statement, signed by 55 countries, including China, denouncing the use by other countries of the situation in Hong Kong to interfere in Chinese internal affairs.

For his part, Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun criticized Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom for their “hypocritical” attitude and asked them to “put aside their arrogance and prejudices”.

In a statement, the nongovernmental organization Human Rights Watch praised the fact that more countries signed the declaration against China this year, “despite persistent threats and intimidating tactics” from the country, a year after a similar document drafted by the United Kingdom collected 23 signatures.

According to Western diplomats, Beijing multiplies the pressure every year to dissuade other UN members from signing the declaration.

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