UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — France on Wednesday called on China to stop “arbitrary mass arrests” in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where human rights groups and experts say more than one million Uighurs and other members of Muslim minorities have been detained in camps that Beijing insists are “vocational training.”
“We call on the Chinese authorities to put an end to the arbitrary mass detentions in the camps,” a French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told a daily news briefing.
“We call on China, in addition to the closure of the concentration camps, to invite the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Michelle Bachelet) and the special procedures experts, as soon as possible, to present as soon as possible,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Laudrian told the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Beijing initially denied the camp policy, but again justified it as vocational training camps and to keep Muslims away from extremism. Hundreds were killed in riots in 2009 in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, which targeted Chinese Han Chinese in particular.
On Sunday, government documents revealed details of how China runs detention centers in Xinjiang by tightening door locks and constant censorship, refuting Beijing’s defense of what it calls “training centers” in the region.
Documents obtained by the International Federation of Investigative Journalists and published by 17 media outlets around the world on Sunday show the strict regime adopted in detention centers in Xinjiang and governed by every detail of life in the camps where nearly a million Uighurs and members of other minorities, mostly Muslims, are held.
“We are following with great interest all the testimonies and documents conveyed by the press” on the “repressive regime established in this region,” he said.
In light of the investigation by the International Federation of Investigative Journalists (FIJI), the Chinese Foreign Ministry has consistently rejected the documents. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused “some media” of “distorting China’s efforts in fighting terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang.”
The Chinese embassy in London denied the existence of such documents and told the Guardian, one of the media that published the memos, that they were “pure slander and misinformation.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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