China dismisses ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ report on Uyghurs as lies, false information

Beijing: While condemnation over China’s crackdowns over Uyghurs continues to mount, Beijing dismissed crimes against humanity report on Uyghurs in Xinjiang province as “lies and false information”.

The Chinese foreign ministry’s remarks came on Tuesday after a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that the Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity in its treatment of the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in the northwest region of Xinjiang.

The HRW report titled “‘Break Their Lineage, Break Their Roots’: China’s Crimes against Humanity Targeting Uyghurs and Other Turkic Muslims,” draws on newly available data from Chinese government documents, other evidence to assess Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang. The report states that the Chinese leadership is responsible for widespread and systematic policies of mass detention, torture, and cultural persecution, among other offences.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry pushed back against persistent condemnation from international human rights groups as well as western nations of mistreatment, forced labour, and forced sterilisations in prison camps where thousands of Uyghurs have allegedly been held.

“The so-called “human rights organisation” you mentioned has always been full of prejudice and engaged in misleading the public. The relevant report is pure slander. We have talked on many occasions about Xinjiang’s overall social stability, economic and social development and people living a happy life there,” Wang said during a briefing.

“The accusation of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” are lies of the century concocted by certain Western countries and anti-China forces. Their goal is to put restriction and crack down on relevant sides and companies in China, undermine stability and security in Xinjiang and contain China’s development. The accusation of the so-called “Uyghurs detained in Xinjiang” is also false,” he claimed further.

Certain organisations, according to the ministry’s mouthpiece, “have spread relevant fallacies based on lies and disinformation concocted by anti-China forces, out of prejudice against China and for political purposes”. “We hope that the parties concerned will respect the facts and truth, shake off ideological bias, and stop spreading false information and fallacies,” he said.

The Biden administration has hit out at Beijing for perpetrating “human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang” in a joint statement with the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom.

The countries specified that Chinese forces had subjected Uyghurs to “forced labour, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilisations, and the concerted destruction of [Uyghur] heritage.”

The Hill further reported that the statement went on to call for Beijing to grant journalists and United Nations investigators unfettered access to the Xinjiang region, which is heavily restricted.

A report from a US-based think tank in early March also accused Beijing of violating every provision of the UN Convention on Genocide Prevention with its activities in Xinjiang.

“The Uyghurs have been suffering under the most advanced police state, with extensive controls and restrictions on every aspect of life–religious, familial, cultural, and social,” wrote one of the report’s co-authors at the time.

Wang’s remarks come as calls for boycotting the Beijing 2022 Olympics over China’s gross human rights violations continues to mount.

In February, a coalition of 180 human rights groups has urged governments around the world to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympic Games slated for next year due to China’s reported human rights abuses towards minorities.

A bipartisan resolution was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week, condemning China’s “genocide” of Uyghurs and other minorities while urging US President Joe Biden to refer the crackdown to the United Nations.

China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghurs. Beijing has been accused of sending its Muslim minority to mass detention camps to undergo forcible re-education or indoctrination.

Beijing has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal crackdown on the ethnic community.