US lawmakers urge UN to release Xinjiang report ahead of Olympics

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Bachelet said that her office has been unable to gain access to the western Chinese region to probe allegations of rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups….reports Asian Lite News

The United States lawmakers have urged the UN human rights office to release its assessment of China’s policies in Xinjiang before the Beijing Winter Olympics which is being held next month, media reported.

Democrats Jeff Merkley and James McGovern, who respectively chair and co-chair the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, wrote a public letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet asking her to issue the report before the “international spectacle” of the Beijing Games begins on Feb. 4.

Bachelet said that her office has been unable to gain access to the western Chinese region to probe allegations of rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups.

Her office said in December that it was finalizing a report on the situation in Xinjiang that it hoped to publish in the coming weeks after long-running talks with Chinese officials on a proposed visit had yielded no progress, according to a Reuters report.

China had earlier expressed hope that Turkey as well as Muslim countries will understand and support its position on “Xinjiang-related issues” even as US and some other Western countries carry out a smearing and attacking Beijing with the ultimate purpose to disrupt China’s development.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin during a press briefing on Thursday said that he has met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday.

“The two sides had a deep discussion over Xinjiang-related issues. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that the Xinjiang-related issues are essentially about fighting terrorism and separatism. The Chinese government has the responsibility to safeguard security, harmony and stability in Xinjiang. The US and some other Western countries have made statements to smear and attack China, and gone to any lengths to destabilize Xinjiang, with the ultimate purpose to disrupt China’s development,” Wang Wenbin said during the press briefing.

This comes after reports showed that Uyghurs in Turkey filed a criminal case with a Turkish prosecutor against Chinese officials for committing genocide in Xinjiang province.

“Turkey and other Islamic countries are hoped to understand and support China’s just position on Xinjiang-related issues,” Wang Webin said in his briefing.

Uyghur families, including volunteer Turkish lawyers, gathered at the Istanbul Court of Justice in Istanbul’s district of Caglayan and held banners that read, “Where are our families?” and “China, free my brother”, reported the international think tank based in Canada, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).

As many as 1.6 million Uyghurs have left China to live abroad, according to the World Uyghur Congress. Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, accuse Beijing of oppressing 12 million Uyghurs, most of whom are Muslims, according to the think tank.

The US government imposed a new package of sanctions on China in December 2021 over abuse of human rights of Uyghurs and other muslim minorities of the country’s western Xinjiang region, including forced labour and sterilization. (with inputs from ANI)

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