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HRW report: Chinese government violates Xinjiang Muslims' rights

HRW report: Chinese government violates Xinjiang Muslims' rights

Marco Rubio and Rep. Chris Smith, lawmakers from across the political spectrum called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to apply Magnitsky Act sanctions, which authorize the government to sanction human-rights offenders around the world. For those who can read, they read out from a paper but for those who cannot, they said, "You can sing a song or tell a story and we will record you".

The Republicans wrote that they are "concerned about the ongoing human rights crisis in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), where Muslim ethnic minorities are being subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, egregious restriction on religious practice and culture, and a digitized surveillance system so pervasive that every aspect of daily life is monitored".

Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW, said: "The Chinese government is committing human rights abuses in Xinjiang on a scale unseen in the country in decades".

Rights groups have accused Beijing of the systematic mass detention of tens of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in political re-education camps without being charged or tried.

A law student at the University of British Columbia named Shawn Zhang has been posting satellite photos online that he says show a network of re-education camps across Xinjiang, along with information about their location.

In the camps, the Uighurs are reportedly forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, espouse the Communist party and denounce Islam.

"China urges the United Nations human rights high commissioner and office to scrupulously abide by the mission and principles of the United Nations charter, respect China's sovereignty, fairly and objectively carry out its duties, and not listen to one-sided information", he told a daily news briefing.

Calling the allegations against China "deeply disturbing", Bachelet said Beijing had to allow access to the region for impartial observers.

QR codes are now being installed on the homes of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region in northwest China, according to a Human Rights Watch report released on Sunday.

Officials from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said various reports from the region indicate that Muslims are "being treated as enemies of the state exclusively on the basis of their ethno-religious identity".

There are reports of China detaining up to 1 million Muslims in indoctrination camps in the region.

The Chinese government has not yet commented on this particular report but has denied similar allegations of mistreatment in the past.

Last month, a United Nations human rights panel held a two-day session on China's policies in Xinjiang, and raised alarm over "credible reports" of that China had turned Xinjiang into "something resembling a massive internment camp, shrouded in secrecy, a sort of no-rights zone".