Switzerland urges China to close Uighur detention camps

Chinese diplomats to face grilling on Xinjiang camps

As many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are being kept in extra-judicial detention in China's fractious far western Xinjiang region, according to estimates cited by a United Nations panel.

Spending on security-related construction tripled in 2017 in China's far western region of Xinjiang, where Beijing is accused of detaining as many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims, an academic analysis of government expenditure found.

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.

However, while the protest and the accusations presented during the review have demonstrated the growing opposition to China's policies in the Xinjiang region, where more than one million ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs are now being held in internment camps, China has once again rejected the criticisms in regards to its treatment of ethnic Muslims.

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

Beijing should "halt massive imprisonment" and "guarantee freedom of religion and belief, including in Tibet and Xinjiang", French 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.

An investigation of the AFP on more than 1,500 public documents available online was revealed in October that these centres, the number of 181 implanted in Xinjiang since 2014, bought including the use of batons, handcuffs or sprays of tear gas.

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"The chinese government must provide answers to the questions of the worldwide community", said AFP Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

All countries will be able to "concentrate their force to strike the Xinjiang" even if the effectiveness depends on "the commitment or not of States to hold accountable", according to her.

China has often stressed that Xinjiang faces a threat from Islamist militants and separatists. Officials from Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau will also attend the review.

Meanwhile, Australia's foreign minister who is scheduled to visit Beijing said on Monday that concerns over internment camps in China's far west will be raised in bilateral talks.

Since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012, the Chinese government has cracked down on civil liberties and religious freedoms while ramping up digital surveillance.

In 2015, more than 200 Chinese human rights lawyers and activists were detained or questioned in a sweep known as the "709" crackdown.

"China opposes human rights politicization and 'double standards, ' and upholds worldwide fairness and justice", China said in a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council for the review.

China has also attached greater importance to the protection of human rights as defined by the rule of law, and laid greater stress on promoting the realization of common rights of all mankind, Lu added. There is a credible and growing body of evidence - including satellite images and scores of testimonies from families of those missing and individuals previously detained - suggesting that human rights violations are being carried out on a grand scale within the camps.

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