Australia and New Zealand Tuesday reiterated their grave concerns about the growing number of ‘credible reports’ of severe human rights abuses against ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang and called on China to make region accessible for UN and independent observers.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Kiwi Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta in a joint statement declared that there is clear evidence of severe human rights abuses that include restrictions on freedom of religion, mass surveillance, large-scale extra-judicial detentions, as well as forced labour and forced birth control, including sterilisation.
Both foreign Ministers welcomed the measures announced overnight by Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We share these countries’ deep concerns, which are held across the Australian and New Zealand communities”, joint statement read.
Underscoring the importance of transparency and accountability, ministers reiterated their call on China to grant meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for United Nations experts, and other independent observers.