UN calls on China to free 1 million Uighurs from alleged re-education camps



United Nations' human rights experts have voiced alarm over alleged Chinese political re-education camps for Muslim Uighurs and called for the immediate release of those detained on the grounds of what China describes as "countering terrorism".

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination cited estimates that up to 1 million Uighurs may be held involuntarily in extra-legal detention in China's far western Xinjiang province.

Its findings were issued after a two-day review of China's record, the first since 2009, earlier this month.

China's Foreign Ministry rejected the allegations at the time, and said anti-China forces were behind the criticism of Beijing's policies in Xinjiang.

It has never officially confirmed the existence of detention centres there.

The panel expressed concern over reports of "mass surveillance disproportionately targeting ethnic Uighurs", including through frequent police checks and scanning of mobile phones at checkpoints.

It also cited reports alleging many Uighurs who had left China had been forced to return to the country, and it called on Beijing to disclose their whereabouts and status.



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