A group of 22 nations signed a letter addressed to the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling on China to end its massive detention program in Xinjiang

The signatories expressed concern about “credible reports of arbitrary detention” in Xinjiang and “widespread surveillance and restrictions” particularly targeting Uyghurs and other minorities.

The signatories called on China to uphold its national laws and international commitments, including as a member of the Human Rights Council, and “refrain from the arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of movement of Uighurs, and other Muslim and minority communities in Xinjiang.

These countries were,

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Days after the letter, a group of 37 countries submitted a similar letter in defense of China’s policies.

In the second letter, the signatories expressed their opposition to “politicizing human rights” and reiterated China’s defense of what Beijing calls “vocation education and training centers” and critics call detention centers or “re-education camps.”

Reuters quotes the letter more deeply, including a passage in which the signatories justify China’s efforts: “Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers.”

Signing the second letter, in defense of China’s policies, were: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Kuwait, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

The first is dominated by Western states, mostly in Europe, and the second stuffed with African and Middle Eastern nations. Importantly, the first letter does not include a single signature from a Muslim-majority state while the second features many, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Indeed, Allah alone deserves our worship and Him alone should we seek for help.

 

Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman