Human Rights Council of United Nations in New York, USA. Photo: File

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Geneva — Ahead of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council, a group of UN experts urged the Chinese government to cooperate fully with the UN human rights system and to grant unhindered access to independent experts who have received and addressed allegations of serious human rights violations and repression of fundamental freedoms in the country.

42 UN experts called on the Chinese government in Beijing to address serious human rights concerns in East Turkestan, Hong Kong and Tibet on 10 June 2022, and to grant unhindered access to independent experts in these regions.

The UN experts issued a statement on 10 June 2022, ahead of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council, which begins in Geneva on 13 June 2022. The statement refers to the recently concluded visit to China by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The experts stressed that “this engagement does not replace the urgent need for a complete assessment of the human rights situation in the country, and especially in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Tibet Autonomous Region and in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

The experts said,“ Strengthening engagement with independent human rights experts and Human Rights Council mechanisms is crucial to full and transparent enforcement of China’s human rights obligations.”

“The Government of China must address specific and systematic human rights violations,” the UN experts said.

The UN experts renewed the calls made in a June 2020 joint statement by 50 UN Special Rapporteurs and human rights experts, which catalogued concerns about the treatment of ethnic minorities in the East Turkestan, Hong Kong and Tibet.

The statement highlighted, “ the need to protect fundamental human rights in China including freedoms of expression, cultural rights, peaceful assembly and association, religion or belief, and non-discrimination; to prevent forced labour in the formal and informal economy, protect journalists and health care workers; and to promote women’s freedom from sexual violence and ensure sexual and reproductive health rights are equally guaranteed to all women and girls regardless of ethnic or religious identity.”