39 countries condemn China over policies in Xinjiang, Hong Kong


Germany has led dozens of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, urging China to respect the rights of its minority Muslim Uighurs, and expressing their concern about the political situation in Hong Kong, in a move that drew a quick and angry response from Beijing.

“We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong,” said Germany’s UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen, who led the initiative during a meeting on human rights on Tuesday at the UN.

Heusgen urged China to allow UN rights observers “immediate, meaningful and unfettered access” to Xinjiang, where at least a million Uighurs are being held in what it says are vocational skills training centres, but critics call detention camps.

The statement also noted other allegations of rights abuses in Xinjiang include severe restrictions on religious freedom, as well as widespread surveillance, forced labour and involuntary sterilisation.

Among the 39 countries signing the declaration were most of the EU member states, as well as Canada, Haiti, Honduras, Australia and New Zealand.


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