U.S., 39 countries sign statement condemning China for human rights violations

by Jeffrey Swindoll · Oct 10th, 2020 12:34 pm

Last Updated Oct 11th, 2020 at 8:39 pm

Thirty-nine countries, including the United States, released a joint statement this week, criticizing China for its violations of human rights, namely "persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet."

German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen of the United Nations wrote on behalf of the 39 countries:

"We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong. ... We call on China to respect human rights, particularly the rights of persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet.

On Xinjiang, we are gravely concerned about the existence of a large network of 'political re-education' camps where credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained.

[W]e call on all countries to respect the principle of non-refoulement."

"Non-refoulment" means "the practice of not forcing refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country in which they are liable to be subjected to persecution," according to Oxford Languages.

Some of the human rights violations in Xinjiang listed by Heusgen include "widespread surveillance" and "forced labour and forced birth control including sterilization" on "the Uyghurs and other minorities."

"We have deep concerns about elements of the National Security Law that allow for certain cases to be transferred for prosecution to the Chinese mainland," Heusgen said. "We also call on China to uphold autonomy, rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, and to respect the independence of the Hong Kong judiciary,.

List of countries that signed the statement: Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


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