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China’s strict surveillance keeps citizens away from its crimes against humanity


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The evidence of Chinese forced assimilation of ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is overwhelming, but the Chinese Communist Party with its sensors, working overtime, won’t let its own citizens see any of it.

A recent report by the United States, which revealed China’s human rights violation in the Xinjiang region, said that “allegations of patterns of torture, or ill-treatment, including forced medical treatment and adverse conditions of detention, are credible, as are allegations of individual incidents of sexual and gender-based violence.”

But China’s great Firewall is at full strength in separating its internet services from the rest of the world. As a result, Chinese citizens have seen virtually no mention of a damning new United Nations report into systematic human rights abuses, reported News.com.au.

China closely monitors social sites like WeChat and Weibo for any reference to the 46-page document addressing “serious human rights violations” in the western province of Xinjiang and occupied Tibet. All links to the original document are being removed.

But Beijing’s not withholding its anger from the rest of the world. Recently, in an official response to the UN, China said, UN wantonly smears and slanders China, and interferes in China’s internal affairs”.

It quickly issued its own 122-page document detailing the “extremism” threat of the Uyghur people and the “counter-terror” operations against them. And its ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomats and commentators have been frantically attempting to demean and discredit every aspect of the report, reported News.com.au.

On Wednesday, US ambassador to China Nicholas Burns tweeted that even his attempts to share the UN document with Chinese citizens had been blocked.

“This deepens and reaffirms our grave concern regarding the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity that PRC government authorities are perpetrating against Uyghurs, who are predominantly Muslim, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Blinken said.

Immediately after the release, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a daily news briefing that the damning report was “orchestrated and produced by the US and some Western forces and is completely illegal, null and void.”

China Media Project director David Bandurski said, “Perhaps the most revealing fact to note today, 48 hours after the release of the Xinjiang report, is that there has been almost no reporting at all inside China.”

“If the external messaging of China’s leadership has been all about pique, its internal messaging has been about creating a vacuum,” he wrote.

The UN report itself finds spin to be inherent in Beijing’s operations. It states that the Chinese Communist Party “conflates what might otherwise be construed as matters of personal choice in relation to religious practice with ‘extremism’, and ‘extremism’ with the phenomenon of terrorism,” reported News.com.au.

This is then used to significantly broaden “the range of conduct that can be targeted under a counter-terrorism objective or pretext”.

Evidence of that conduct is detailed in the report.”It describes as “credible” allegations of torture, including rape and sexual violence, discrimination, mass detention, forced labour and widespread surveillance,” said University of New South Wales Professor of Law Justine Nolan.

“It is no longer possible for anyone – including the many companies that continue to source products from Xinjiang – to claim plausible deniability,” Justine Nolan added.

Former UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet released the report which said that Uyghurs in the Chinese province of Xinjiang and other predominantly Muslim groups were routinely placed in reeducation camps where they were subjected to torture, rape, forced labour, and abortion.

The report comes at an inconvenient time for Chairman Xi, as his party CCP is set to convene its 20th Party Congress next month in Beijing.

In the Party Congress that is held every 5 years, Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to secure a third term in office as President while a new top leadership line-up will also be unveiled.

According to the experts, the Human Rights Council should urgently consider the creation of a Special Procedures mandate, or a panel of experts to closely monitor, analyse and report annually on the human rights situation in China.

“Profound concerns over systematic human rights violations and their widespread effect on individuals and minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region cannot, and should not, be ignored by the international community,” experts said. 

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