China dismisses criticism about mass detentions

Dissident activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer while under police custody

At a debate at the Geneva forum-which reports on alleged violations in each United Nations member state every five years and reviewed China's record on Tuesday- China rejected Western criticism of suspected mass detention and heavy surveillance of Uyghurs in the western region of Xinjiang.

Speaking at a panel discussion organised the Asia Society, Foreign Policy editor James Palmer talked about the difficulties faced by journalists while writing about the repression of Muslims in China's western Xinjiang region.

Marise Payne said she will register "serious concerns" over the huge facilities in Xinjiang, where activists say hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other mainly-Muslim minorities are detained in political re-education camps.

Activists say members of China's Muslim minorities are held involuntarily for transgressions such as wearing long beards and face veils. China will present a report on its domestic human rights situation and on changes made since its last report in 2013, while diplomats from around the world will have the opportunity to ask questions - some of which have already been submitted.

The past year has seen an intensifying government campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation against the region's Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups.

Washington asks what is "the number of people detained against their will, in all detention facilities in Xinjiang in the past five years".

Britain has asked when China will implement recommendations from a United Nations racial discrimination panel that it "halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried and convicted for a criminal offense in any extra-legal detention facilities".

Beijing should "halt massive imprisonment" and "guarantee freedom of religion and belief, including in Tibet and Xinjiang", France's ambassador Francois Rivasseau said.

GENEVA -Western countries including France, Germany and the United States called on China on November 6 to close down detention camps that activists say hold 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslims.

Beijing says its "vocational training centers" in Xinjiang camps teach employment skills and legal knowledge aimed at curbing religious extremism.

"The Chinese government owes some answers to worldwide questions about Xinjiang", Maya Wang (王松蓮), senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, told reporters. "States need to demand the truth from China in the UN Human Rights Council review on Tuesday".

China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition that the cause of China's human rights protection is moving forward to a new era.

China also came under scrutiny for other aspects of its human rights record, including its use of the death penalty and a dramatic crackdown on civil liberties and religious freedoms since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.

In July 2017, dissident activist and Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer while under police custody.

"If the U.N. Human Rights Council can not make China accountable for human rights violations, then who will?"

In 2015, more than 200 Chinese human rights lawyers and activists were detained or questioned in a sweep known as the "709" crackdown. Officials from Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau will also attend the review.

According to Lu, the development of human rights in China adheres to a people-centered principle, and takes the aspirations of the people to live a better life as its major goal.

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