Britain to challenge China at U.N. over access to Xinjiang

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Britain will on Monday call forthe United Nations to be given "urgent and unfettered" access toXinjiang to investigate reports of abuses in the Chinese region.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will also markBritain's return to the U.N. Human Rights Council as a votingmember by condemning the rights record of fellow council membersChina and Russia and will raise concerns about Myanmar andBelarus, his office said.

On China, Raab will refer to reports of abuses in Xinjiang,including torture, forced labour and forced sterilisation ofwomen. "They are taking place on an industrial scale," he willsay, according to his office.

"The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, or anotherindependent fact-finding expert, must – and I repeat must – begiven urgent and unfettered access to Xinjiang," he will say.

China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes inXinjiang that Beijing describes as "vocational training centres"to stamp out extremism and give people new skills. China'scritics have called them concentration camps.

The United Nations has said at least 1 million Uighurs andother Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang.

Raab will also raise the "disgraceful" treatment of Kremlincritic Alexei Navalny, the crisis in Myanmar and the situationin Belarus. He will set out steps Britain has taken to addressthese issues, such as sanctions, and encourage others to follow.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Edmund Blair)