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China: Uighurs

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL13146, tabled on 28 January 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the account of Gulbahar Jelilova, a Muslim Uyghur woman, who was reportedly subject to degrading treatment at a re-education camp in China; and what assessment they have made of the accuracy of estimates cited by the United Nations that up to 1 million ethnic Muslim-minority Uyghurs may be held involuntarily in extralegal detention in Xinjiang.

Answered on

11 February 2019

We are aware of reports of the detention of Gulbahar Jelil (Jelilova) in Xinjiang.

We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the Chinese Government’s deepening crackdown; including credible reports that over one million Uyghurs have been held in re-education camps, and widespread surveillance and restrictions targeted at ethnic minorities.

During China’s Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council on 6 November, the UK made a statement which described our concern about the treatment of ethnic minorities in China, including Uyghurs. We issued a specific recommendation, calling on China to implement the recommendations by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Xinjiang, and to allow the UN to monitor the implementation.

Mr Field raised our concerns about Xinjiang with Vice Minister Guo Yezhou during his visit to China on 22 July 2018. The Foreign Secretary also raised our concerns about the region with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his visit to China on 30 July 2018.