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Slandering Xinjiang as 'no rights zone' against fact, Chinese official told UN panel

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-08-14 12:55
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A farmer works at a Hami melon base in Hami, Xinjiang, August 9, 2018. [Photo/IC]

GENEVA - There is no arbitrary detention in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and the view that Xinjiang is a "no rights zone" is completely against the fact, a Chinese official on Monday told the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

The CERD reviewed the situation in China at its 96th session on Aug 10 and 13. During a dialogue between the Chinese delegation and CERD members, Hu Lianhe, a member of the Chinese delegation, said the freedom and dignity, economic and social rights, civil and political rights and other rights of all the ethnic groups in Xinjiang are fully guaranteed by law and in practice.

"There are no such things as 're-education centers' or 'counter-extremism training centers' in Xinjiang," the official said.

Xinjiang, a victim of terrorism which is making an effort to protect the life and property of all ethnic groups in the autonomous region, has undertaken special campaigns to crack down on violent terrorist activities, put on trial and imprisoned a number of criminals according to the law, he said.

"With respect to persons involved only in minor offenses, the authority provides them with assistance and education by assigning them to vocational education and employment training centers to acquire employment skills and legal knowledge, with a view to assisting their rehabilitation and reintegration," Hu said.

He added that the legal rights of persons assigned to vocational training centers are duly protected and they are not subject to any arbitrary detention, let alone ill-treatment there.

"The saying that 'a million Uygurs are detained in re-education centers' is completely untrue," the Chinese official said.

Xinjiang is firmly committed to combating terrorism, extremism and separatism according to the law, and opposes linking anti-terrorism, anti-extremism and anti-secession to specific ethnic groups or religions, Hu added.

The official told CERD members that masked robes are not ethnic costumes in Xinjiang, and that wearing masked robes is prohibited according to local laws and regulations, as such robes are not ethnic garments of the Uygurs there.

"Wearing masked robes is also prohibited in many countries in the world. The prohibition of wearing masked robes is not only the need to respect and protect ethnic customs in Xinjiang, but also the need for anti-terrorism and anti-extremism," he said.

Since the 1990s, the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism at home and abroad have planned and organized a series of violent terrorist incidents such as explosions, assassinations, poisonings, arsons, assaults, turmoil and riots, causing heavy losses of life and property among all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, said Hu.

In response, the autonomous region has adopted measures to strengthen social and security management, including collecting relevant information, curbing the spread of terrorist and extremist audios and videos, and cracking down on the illegal and criminal activities of the "three forces", Hu said.

The measures have safeguarded stability and security in Xinjiang, and received great support from all ethnic groups, he added.

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