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US asks countries to speak out against Chinese mistreatment of Muslims

Alice G. Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs

Washington DC [US], Feb 07 (ANI): United States on Thursday asked all countries to speak out against mistreatment of Muslims living in China especially in Xinjiang region by Chinese authorities.
Alice G. Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, while talking to reporters appreciated the steps taken by Central Asian states to ensure that no ethnic Kazakh, Uighur, Kyrgyz is refouled to China and that the human rights of individuals who reach Central Asia are observed.
“As a matter of principle we urge all countries, not just Central Asian countries, to speak out against human rights abuses that are evident against Muslims in all of China but certainly in Xinjiang. And the countries of Central Asia, several of the countries of Central Asia have deep first-hand knowledge of those abuses given the direct impact it has on their own populations who have loved ones, family members, that are swept up in these detention centers,” Wells said.
“We appreciate steps by Central Asian states to ensure that no ethnic Kazakh, Uighur, Kyrgyz is refouled to China, that the human rights of individuals who reach Central Asia are observed. And we also appreciate I think what countries like Kazakhstan can do to promote the free and safe travel of compatriots, ethnic compatriots across the border,” she added.
China has been accused of oppressing the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending the community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination. However, Pakistan has stayed mum over this issue.
As many as 1 million people, or about 7 per cent of Xinjiang’s Muslim population, have been incarcerated in a sprawling network of “political re-education” camps, according to US and UN studies.
In 2018, the New York-based Human Rights Watch released a report accusing Beijing of a “systematic campaign of human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Beijing says its camps in Xinjiang are “vocational training centres.”
Last year, several documents leaked revealed details about Beijing’s fears about religious extremism and its wholesale crackdown on Uighurs.
The US had called on the Chinese government to “immediately release all of those who are arbitrarily detained and to end its draconian policies that have terrorised its own citizens in Xinjiang.” (ANI)

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