Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

USA accuses Beijing over Uighur detention

USA accuses Beijing over Uighur detention

"Regardless of these revisions, I still believe the practice of coercively detaining Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang in "education through transformation centres" not only violates Chinese law but also global legal norms against the extrajudicial deprivation of liberty", Mr Leibold said.

The move is likely to further raise worldwide concerns over human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region where many Uighurs, who oppose growing state surveillance, have been detained under the "reeducation" campaign.

Beijing has in recent years launched a security crackdown in Xinjiang against what it calls separatist elements, and a United Nations report has cited estimates that up to one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are held in extra-judicial, political re-education camps.

China has largely dismissed or rebuffed foreign criticism of its crackdown, first denying the network of internment camps existed and now arguing they are a necessary and just response to what Beijing calls Islamist extremism.

China has come under increasing pressure from the U.S. and the European Union after a United Nations panel confronted Chinese diplomats in August over reports of arbitrary mass detentions and harsh security measures aimed at Muslims. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), unveiled a bill that seeks to condemn the Chinese crackdowns in Xinjiang and urged the USA government to consider sanctions on Chinese leaders.

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China said anti-terror efforts in controversial "reeducation centres" in China's Xinjiang region will be governed by new standardised rules.

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Leibold believes that the revisions are an attempt to deflect worldwide criticism.

On Oct. 9, the Xinjiang government revised legislation to officially permit the use of "education and training centers" to reform "people influenced by extremism".

China, therefore, seems to have tweaked existing rules to ensure that there is legal justification to set up these detention centres.

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Last month a spokesman for China's state council information office, Li Xiaojun, said that detaining Uighurs in such centers was "not mistreatment", but "to establish professional training centers, educational centers".

Separately, Chinese media report a prosecutors' office in Xinjiang has called on officials to avoid being influenced by Muslims' customs and religion.

But the new law appeared to equate things like not watching Chinese television and not smoking as evidence of radicalization.

"Recently, some Western countries have gotten worked up like a shrill housewife threatening to impose "sanctions" on China", the essay read.

"The amended PRC "Population and Family Planning Law" and provincial-level regulations continued to limit couples' freedom to build their families as they see fit and include provisions that require couples to be married to have children and limit them to bearing two children", the report states.

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Shih reported from Hong Kong.

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