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Mainstream, VOL 60 No 37 September 3, 2022

UN Human Rights Office assessment of human rights concerns in Xinjiang, China | 31 August 2022

Saturday 3 September 2022

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Contents

I. Introduction ........................................................... 1-3
II. Background ............................................................ 3-5
III. China’s legal and policy framework on countering terrorism and “extremism” ... 5-6
A. Clarity and scope of concepts of “terrorism” and “extremism” ........ 6-8
B. Methodologies applied to identify suspects and “at risk” persons .... 8-9
C. Scope and nature of responses to alleged “terrorist” or “extremist” conduct ..... 9-10
D. Breadth of preventive, investigative and coercive powers, and degree
of oversight and redress ............................................................10-11
IV. Imprisonment and other forms of deprivation of liberty ................... 11
A. Referrals to “Vocational Education and Training Centres” .... 12-18
B. Detention through the criminal justice system ...... 18-21
V. Conditions and treatment in “Vocational Education and Training Centres” ... 21-25
VI. Other human rights concerns............................. 25
A. Religious, cultural and linguistic identity and expression ....... 25-30
B. Rights to privacy and freedom of movement .......... 30-32
C. Reproductive rights ..................................... 32-36
D. Employment and labour issues ........................................ 36-40
VII. Issues of family separation and reprisals ..................... 40
A. Family separations and enforced disappearances ..................40-42
B. Intimidations, threats and reprisals ........................ 42-43
VIII. Overall assessment and recommendations ................ 43-45

Appendix

“[ . . . ] Recommendations

151. OHCHR recommends to the Government of China that it:

(i) Takes prompt steps to release all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in XUAR, whether in VETCs, prisons or other detention facilities;

(ii) Urgently clarifies the whereabouts of individuals whose families have been seeking information about their loved ones in XUAR, including by providing details of their exact locations and establishing safe channels of communication and travel enabling families to reunite;

(iii) Undertakes a full review of the legal framework governing national security, counter-terrorism and minority rights in XUAR to ensure their compliance with binding international human rights law, and urgently repeal all discriminatory laws, policies and practices against Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minorities in XUAR, in particular those that have led to the serious human rights violations as detailed in this assessment;

(iv) Promptly investigates allegations of human rights violations in VETCs and other detention facilities, including allegations of torture, sexual violence, ill-treatment, forced medical treatment, as well as forced labour and reports of deaths in custody;

(v) Implements, as a matter of priority, the Concluding Observations from the UN Committee against Torture and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, including establishment of an independent oversight mechanism to ensure prompt, impartial and effective investigation into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment;

(vi) Ensures that surveillance both on and offline comply with strict tests of legality, necessity and proportionality, including for matters of national security, and does not infringe on fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals;

(vii) Cooperates with the ILO and social partners in the implementation of the recommendations made by the ILO Committee of Experts on Conventions No. 111 and 122, including by allowing a technical advisory mission, and in the implementation of Conventions No. 29 and 105 on forced labour, and the 2014 Protocol;[306]

[306] Committee on Application of Standards, 110 th International Labour Conference, 2 June 2022, CAN/China/PV.5.”

Read the full report below:

OHCHR Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China (August 31, 2022)

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