15 countries mount pressure on China over rights abuses against Uighur Muslims

15 countries mount pressure on China over rights abuses against Uighur Muslims
Hotan, Xinjiang: The facilities have come under international scrutiny, with rights activists describing them as political re-education camps holding as many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities (AFP)

Beijing: Ambassadors of 15 countries led by Canada are seeking a meeting with the top official in China’s restive, heavily Muslim Xinjiang region for an explanation of alleged rights abuses against ethnic Uighurs.

According to Reuters in a draft letter to Chen Quanguo, Xinjiang’s Communist Party boss, the envoys stated that they were highly concerned by the U.N. findings on Xinjiang and requested a meeting at the earliest convenience to discuss these concerns. The other countries’ ambassadors’ names in the letter are Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Estonia, Finland and Denmark.

Activists, academics, foreign governments and U.N. rights experts have been criticizing Beijing over mass detentions and strict surveillance of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups who call Xinjiang home.

United Nations human rights panel had also admitted in August that it had received many credible reports that a million or more Uighurs in China are being held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy”.

Though the United States is not represented in the letter, it has said it is considering sanctions against Chen, other officials and Chinese companies linked to allegations of rights abuses in Xinjiang.

AT internment camps, Muslim men, women and children are allegedly tortured. Women are allegedly stripped off while men are forced to drink alcohol and eat pork.