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China: UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination calls for probe into Xinjiang rights violations

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) called on Thursday on the Peoples’ Republic of China to immediately investigate all allegations of human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including those of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, forced labor, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody.

Acting under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the Committee also called on China to immediately release all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in the XUAR, whether in so-called Vocational Education and Training Centres (VETCs) or other detention facilities, and to provide relatives of those detained or disappeared with detailed information about their status and well-being.

In 2018, the Committee reviewed the periodic reports submitted by China and issued Concluding Observations in which it expressed a number of concerns, including about human rights violations of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in the XUAR. As requested by the Committee, China submitted its follow-up report to those Concluding Observations in October 2019.

In 2022, due to the lack of improvement in the human rights situation in Xinjiang, the Committee decided to prepare and to adopt, at its current 108th session, a decision under its early warning and urgent action procedure.

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