Dozens of countries demand UN Secretary-General access to Uyghur detention camps

Dozens of countries demand UN Secretary-General access to Uyghur detention camps

More than 40 countries have urged China to immediately allow the United Nations human rights coordinator to enter Xinjiang. Countries want to investigate reports that the Uyghur minority is forced into forced labor or unlawful detention and torture.

“Reliable reports indicate that more than one million people have been arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and that there is widespread surveillance that disproportionately targets Uyghurs and members of other minorities, as well as restricting basic freedoms and Uyghur culture,” the joint statement said.

Canadian Ambassador Leslie Norton read out the joint statement before the UN Human Rights Council. Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the United States, among other countries, signed the statement.

“We urge China to allow independent monitors, including High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, immediate, meaningful and free access to Xinjiang,” the statement said.

Bachelet says he hopes to agree terms for visiting China, including Xinjiang, to investigate the reports. She says she has been in negotiations since September 2018.

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