France is concerned about human rights violations of Uighurs in northwest China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang autonomous region, the French top diplomat said Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said his country wanted international independent observers, as well as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to be allowed to “freely enter” the region.
“All of the practices in the area are unacceptable because they go against all the global human rights conventions and we condemn them strongly,” he said, adding that Paris is carefully monitoring the situation.
The British government was urged to “take strong action” against China on Tuesday for the “ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims,” in a missive by the Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s largest Muslim umbrella group.
The US Commerce Department restricted 11 Chinese entities’ access to US technologies Monday for their involvement in human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang.
In an interview with BBC, China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming denied Sunday the widespread abuse of the Uighur community after a video posted on social media raised accusations of genocide.
Xinjiang region is home to 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China’s authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
Up to 1 million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to US officials and UN experts.
* Writing and contributions by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara
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