UN Releases Long-Delayed Report on Uyghur “Crimes Against Humanity

Minutes before midnight on her last day as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet authorized the release of a harshly critical report of China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim communities, detailing in all but name the genocidal treatment of the Turkic minority.


“Allegations of patterns of torture, or ill-treatment, including forced medical treatment and adverse conditions of detention, are credible, as are allegations of individual incidents of sexual and gender-based violence,” said the report.  


The extent of arbitrary detentions against Uyghur and others, in context of “restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights, enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”


China’s attached rebuttal, thrice the length of the report, contends the Vocational Educational and Training Centers (VETCs), or re-education camps are “learning facilities established in accordance with law intended for de-radicalization” and not “concentration camps”.


A spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Mr. Guterres “values the system-wide cooperation between China and the United Nations on a whole host of issues. China is a very valuable partner, and we very much hope that that cooperation will continue,” and urged it was “important for everyone to see the Chinese response” to the detailed report.


The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region produces about one-fifth the world’s cotton, half the world’s polysilicon, and is home to the world’s second largest manufacturer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), effective June 21, places few restrictions on the import of those commodities when reprocessed in third countries. 

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