Geneva: European Union has called on China to allow meaningful access to Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region for independent observers, including for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In a statement at the 45th Human Rights Council on Friday (local time), German envoy Michael Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg, on behalf of the EU said, “We reiterate our call on China to allow meaningful access to Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region for independent observers, including for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

“We also reiterate our call on China to uphold its national and international obligations, and to respect human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet,” he said.

The German Ambassador added that the EU urges China to ensure the rule of law, establish fair trial guarantees and investigate thoroughly reported cases of arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment, and torture, and harassment of human rights defenders and their families.

“On China, the EU continues to be gravely concerned about the existence of a large network of political re-education camps, widespread surveillance, and systemic restrictions on freedom of religion or belief against Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” he said.

“Extensively researched reports alleging forced labour, and forced sterilisation and forced birth control in Xinjiang add to the gravity and magnitude of these concerns,” he added.

Over the situation in Hong Kong, the German envoy said, “We are concerned about growing restrictions on freedom of expression, on access to information, and about intimidation and surveillance of journalists. The EU considers the national security legislation for Hong Kong adopted by the Standing Committee of China`s National People`s Congress on 30 June to be a matter of grave concern.”





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