Britain will call on Monday for the United Nations to be given full access to the Chinese province of Xinjiang to investigate Beijing’s human rights abuses in the region. The move comes as the UK makes a comeback as a voting member to the UN Human Rights Council.
Meanwhile, Dominic Raab, British foreign secretary is also expected to condemn the human rights record of fellow council members, including Russia and China, as well as raise concerns about Belarus and Myanmar. He will refer to records of abuses in Xinjiang, including forced sterilization of women and forced labor.
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In recent years, Beijing has been condemned for detaining as many as one million Uighurs in detention camps. Although Chinese officials have described it as vocational training camps, its critics have called it concentration camps. Since December 2018, Michelle Bachelet, the UN Human Rights chief, has been calling on Beijing to allow her to visit the province.
On the other hand, Chinese officials have stated that they are willing to give unfiltered access to international investigation teams, albeit they stay out of the country’s internal affairs. Last year, an Australian thinktank reported that China was expanding its network of detentions in the province, even as it was shutting down what it calls “reeducation programs.”
It further added that the institute found proof of more than 380 detention camps in Xinjiang, where the UN says more than one million Uighur Muslims have been detained in recent years. Besides, the British foreign secretary will also raise the Kremlin’s treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was arrested upon his arrival from Berlin. He is expected to set out steps the UK had taken to address these issues, including sanctions.
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