French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday that the “forced sterilizations” and “massive detentions” of Uyghurs in Chinese camps were “attested”, which Beijing denies.
“Forced sterilizations, sexual abuse in camps, disappearances, mass detentions, forced labor, destruction of cultural heritage starting with places of worship, placing under surveillance of the population, all of this is attested”, he told the Senate. According to studies by American and Australian institutes, at least one million Uyghurs, a Turkish-speaking minority and predominantly Muslim, have been interned in “camps” in Xinjiang (north-west).
“Vigilance” for French companies
The Chinese authorities claim to have built “vocational training centers” to help the population and keep it away from extremism, in this region under very close surveillance after Islamist attacks. The head of French diplomacy once again demanded that “an impartial, independent and transparent mission of international experts can go to Xinjiang as quickly as possible under the responsibility of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Michelle Bachelet ”.
He also called again for “greater vigilance” from French companies in the face of the risks of “serious infringements of fundamental rights” of Uyghurs in the Chinese factories which employ them. France “intends to uphold” the commitment made by China to subscribe to the International Labor Organization (ILO) convention against forced labor when the controversial investment agreement with the EU was concluded. in December, insisted Jean-Yves Le Drian. On February 24, the French minister denounced China’s “institutionalized system of repression” against Uyghur Muslims during an intervention before the UN Human Rights Council.