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HRW Highlights Need for Concrete Follow Up on UN Xinjiang Report, Rights Crisis in India and Spiraling Situation in Darfur

HRW Statement - Item 2 Interactive Dialogue on the annual report of the High Commissioner on Human Rights - HRC53

Delegates attend the opening day of the 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in Geneva, June 13, 2022. © 2022 Keystone/Valentin Flauraud

High Commissioner, a number of delegations have expressed concern about cultural repression. Your Office’s report on human rights violations in the Xinjiang region details the Chinese government’s systematic suppression of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups’ culture, language, religion and identity, along with mass arbitrary detention, family separations, forced labor, torture and enforced disappearances, that may constitute crimes against humanity. We welcome your statement that the report recommendations “require concrete follow-up.” High Commissioner, what concrete follow-up do you intend to undertake? Will you continue the monitoring and public reporting on China’s sweeping rights violations, and what steps does your Office plan to take to identify the missing and arbitrarily detained and seek to reunite them with their loved ones? 

While we support your call for an OHCHR presence in India, we are extremely concerned about the communally divisive politics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Its leaders have incited violence and BJP supporters and affiliated groups have carried out attacks against religious minorities, confident that they will not be prosecuted for their crimes. The recent situation in Uttarakhand, where Muslims are being singled out and threatened, and in Manipur, where hundreds of churches have been destroyed, shows that a Hindu majoritarian narrative for political gain results in harm to marginalized groups. Independent oversight mechanisms, a robust civil society, and an independent media can help ensure corrective measures, but the Modi government is stifling independent institutions and peaceful critics of the government. The continuing repression in Jammu and Kashmir is also of concern. What should concerned governments do to help reverse India’s drastically worsening human rights situation? 

Finally, High Commissioner, we share your assessment that impunity needs to end to address the crisis in Sudan, particularly in Darfur where the situation continues to spiral, and want to ask what more this Council – and the wider UN system – could do to advance accountability there. 

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