Uighurs Protests - China Headline News

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Nearly two dozen countries have called on China to halt its mass detention of ethnic Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, the first such joint move on the issue at the U.N. Human Rights Council, according to diplomats and a letter seen by Reuters. U.N. experts and activists say at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in the remote western region. China describes them as training centres helping to stamp out extremism and give people new skills. The unprecedented letter to the president of the forum, dated July 8, was signed by the ambassadors of 22 countries. Australia, Canada and Japan were among them, along with European countries including Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland, but not the United States which quit the forum a year ago. It fell short of a formal statement being read out at the Council or a resolution submitted for a vote, as sought by activists. This was due to governments’ fears of a potential political and economic backlash from China, diplomats said. “It is a first collective response on Xinjiang,” a Western diplomat told Reuters on Wednesday. “The idea of a resolution was never on the cards.” Another envoy said: “It’s a formal step because it will be published as an official document of the Council … It is a signal.” In a statement, Human Rights Watch later welcomed the letter as “important not only for Xinjiang’s population, but for people around the world who depend on the U.N.’s leading…

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