China rebuked by West at UN rights forum on Hong Kong, Xinjiang


The new security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong was “being implemented with the apparent intention to eliminate dissent,” Britain’s Lord Tariq Ahmad said.

“It allows prosecution of certain cases in mainland China, a jurisdiction where defendants are often held for long periods without charge or access to legal counsel, and where we have concerns about judicial independence, due process, and reports of torture,” he said.

Germany, speaking for the EU, voiced concerns at “the existence of a large network of political re-education camps, widespread surveillance, and systemic restrictions on freedom of religion or belief against Uighurs and other minorities” in Xinjiang.

Canada’s ambassador Leslie Norton voiced alarm at “mass arbitrary detention and separation of children from their parents, repressive surveillance, as well as reports of forced labor and forced sterilization affecting Uyghurs and other minorities” in the region.

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said last week she was discussing a possible visit to Xinjiang with Chinese authorities.

Her predecessor, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, told a UK-hosted panel on Wednesday that the “excessive use of force” against Hong Kong protesters “cannot be divorced from what is happening in the rest of China – the persecution, possibly even amounting to genocidal acts against the Uighurs in Xinjiang, the long suffering of the people of Tibet.”

“This only underscores why the people of Hong Kong ought to be worried,” Zeid said. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by William Maclean)

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