The United Nations released its long-awaited human rights report concerning China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang on Wednesday, but made no mention of “genocide” in the report.
Released on the last day of Michelle Bachelet’s tenure as U.N. high commissioner for human rights, the 48-page human rights report also stops short of a complete determination that China is culpable for the lesser offense of “crimes against humanity.” Instead, the U.N. report only states that China’s “arbitrary and discriminatory detention” of Uyghurs and other Muslims “may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”
Both the United States and British authorities have previously characterized China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslims as a “genocide.”
However, the report did find that China detained Uyghur Muslims in internment camps and found credible allegations of large-scale abuse and indoctrination. Additionally, the report found that allegations of widespread sexual abuse and even rape by Chinese officials did “appear credible and would in themselves amount to acts of torture or other forms of ill-treatment.”
Several human rights activists told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they believed the report served to legitimize China’s genocide.
“The report doesn’t even once mention that what is going on in East Turkistan is genocide,” Salih Hudayar, the prime minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, told the DCNF Wednesday. “This is the result of China pressuring the U.N. to downplay the ongoing genocide. The fact that they are only saying China’s actions may constitute ‘crimes against humanity’ has been done to appease China — therefore this is a huge victory for China.” (RELATED: UN Human Rights Chief Calls It Quits After Failing To Investigate Genocide In China)
Andrew Bremberg, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. told the DCNF that the U.N. report “legitimized” China’s crimes by using Beijing’s “false ‘counter-terrorism’ framing” and by referring to Xinjiang’s concentration camps as “Vocational Education and Training Centers.”
“The Uyghurs deserve better from the free world,” Bremberg said. “It is past time to stand up to China’s brutal human rights violations.”
The report comes two months after Bachelet announced she would not seek a second term during a U.N. assembly in June after failing to pursue further investigation into the ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Western China.
“The fact that they waited until the very last minute to publish the report shows that the U.N. leadership may have been negotiating with China on what types of terminology was going to be included,” Hudayar said. “The report doesn’t reject the Chinese government’s narrative around ‘counterterrorism’ — it uses the Chinese government’s narrative, only urging them to review their counterterrorism policy, and, thus, legitimizing the atrocities.”
The Chinese Embassy referred the DCNF to comments made by China’s minister of foreign affairs, Zhao Lijian Wednesday.
“As to the Xinjiang-related report you mentioned, China has made clear its stern position on many occasions,” Zhao said. “We firmly oppose the release of a so-called Xinjiang-related report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report is a pure stunt orchestrated by the U.S. and a handful of other Western countries.”