United Nations, Aug 31 : The UN panel has asked China to close detention camps of Uighurs and called for the release of those held on the pretext of counter terrorism operation.
Alarmed by the reports of mass detention of Uighurs in China, UN human rights experts heard reports that up to one million Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang were held in re-education camps.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination cited estimates that “from tens of thousands to upwards of a million Uighurs” may be detained in the far western Xinjiang province. Its findings were issued after a two-day review of China’s record, the first since 2009.
Denying the allegations, China responded that Uighurs enjoyed full rights but Beijing made a rare admission that “those deceived by religious extremism… shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”.
China has admitted that some religious extremists were being held for re-education and blamed Islamist militants and separatists for unrest in the province.
During a review earlier in August, members of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said credible reports suggested Beijing had “turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp”.