China protests against the Bundestag debate on the situation of the Uyghurs

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Policeman in front of a Kashgar mosque in Xinjiang

Source: AFP / archive

The Chinese embassy talks about "arbitrary charges"

isA discussion in the Bundestag on the situation of Muslim Uyghurs in the Chinese region of Xinjiang has provoked strong protests in Beijing. In a statement posted on his website, the Chinese embassy in Berlin declared that China was "extremely dissatisfied" with the debate and that "seriously" presented a diplomatic objection to the Bundestag and to the federal government. The "arbitrary accusations" of the Bundestag are a "clear interference in internal affairs" of the People's Republic.

At the request of Alliance 90 / The Greens, MEPs discussed China's relations with the Uighurs on Thursday. According to human rights organizations, up to a million members of the Muslim minority in Xinjiang are arbitrarily detained in detention centers. In a motion, the Greens want to invite the federal government to ask Beijing to provide independent observers and journalists with access to the Xinjiang region.

"Mass arbitration arrests" should be interrupted, all closed "camps and detention centers" and all detainees "unconditionally released", said the bill, which was reported to the Committee on Human Rights and Aid humanitarian organizations following the debate.

The Chinese embassy then accused the Bundestag of violating reality in Xinjiang: the measures served to "fight terrorism and extremism".

The green MEP Margarete Bause, who had presented the motion in the Bundestag, criticized the reaction in Beijing. It warns against "such interference and against its warnings or even threats," he explained. The motion is not "arbitrary", but "attacks on reports, evidence and testimonies, which have already been made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Parliament and numerous governments and organizations for human rights ".

Recently, the human rights organization Amnesty International has asked Beijing to clarify the fate of hundreds of thousands of detainees. More recently, there has been increasing evidence in state documents and statements of past prisoners that Uyghurs imprisoned in the camps have been politically and culturally indoctrinated. It is said that many have been arrested for nonsense, for example for sending greetings to Islamic parties. Amnesty interviewed several former inmates who reportedly were linked and tortured in the camps, singing political songs and receiving teachings on the Communist Party.

According to Bause, the Greens' spokesman for human rights policy in the Bundestag, her office had already received the letter from the Chinese embassy on Thursday evening. Previously, an employee of the embassy had already called.

On Sunday, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) will travel to China for his inaugural visit. According to the Foreign Office, in addition to talks with his colleague Wang Yi, meetings with other representatives of the Chinese leadership are planned. It will also cover the planned human rights dialogue with China in December.


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