Published on :
France on Tuesday condemned the treatment inflicted by China on the Uyghur minority and called for the sending of independent observers to the western region of Xinjiang. </p><div> <p>Mass detentions, forced labor, forced sterilizations… Paris has firmly condemned the fate that Beijing reserves for the Uyghurs: their internment in China is an “unacceptable” practice, denounced France on Wednesday July 21, demanding that Beijing authorize access to observers independent internationals in Xinjiang, the Chinese region where this ethnic minority lives.
“France is watching with great attention all the testimonies relayed by the press and human rights organizations,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said Wednesday before the Assembly national.
>> To read: In China, Uyghurs victims of an imposed birth control policy
A repressive system
“What transpires from all of the information we have or read are internment camps for Uyghurs, mass detentions, disappearances, forced labor, forced sterilizations, destruction of Uyghur cultural heritage, and in particular places of worship, surveillance of the population and more generally all the repressive system put in place in this region, “he continued.
“All these practices are unacceptable. We strongly condemn them,” said Jean-Yves Le Drian, eliciting applause in the hemicycle. “In the immediate future, we ask that China allow access to independent international observers in this area and that it allow the (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit the Xinjiang freely. ”
A “revolting and unacceptable” practice
In the morning, questioned on FranceInfo radio, the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, also spoke of a practice “revolting and unacceptable, and (which) we strongly condemn”.
This question “must obviously be part of the discussion we are having with our Chinese partners”, added the minister, without commenting on the existence of possible imports from France of masks which would be manufactured in forced internment centers in China.
The United States announced on Monday that it has blacklisted eleven Chinese companies, which limits their access to American technologies and products, because they participate in the persecution of the Uyghur minority.
These eleven companies “are involved in human rights violations linked to the implementation of the campaign of repression, mass imprisonment, forced labor, the involuntary collection of biometric data and genetic analyzes targeting them. Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region “, accuses the US government.
“Serious, shocking violations of human rights”
Washington, like other Western capitals and human rights organizations, accuses China of interning at least one million Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
China denies this figure and claims that they are vocational training centers, intended to help the population find jobs in order to distance them from the temptation of Islamist extremism.
For his part, the head of British diplomacy, Dominic Raab, on Sunday accused China of committing “serious, shocking human rights abuses” against this Turkish-speaking Muslim minority.
The Uyghurs are the main ethnic group in Xinjiang (northwestern China), a huge region that has common borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan in particular. Regularly struck by deadly attacks, attributed by Beijing to separatists or Uyghur Islamists, it is under close police surveillance.