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US weighs sanctions amid concern over China's Muslim crackdown

14 September 2018

Nauert acknowledged that the State Department had received a letter from a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers at the end of August asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to impose sanctions on a number of Chinese officials accused of overseeing the policies. "We have a lot of tools at our disposal", she said.

The government has previously blamed anti-China forces for being behind criticism of its policies in Xinjiang.

"The Chinese government is committing human rights abuses in Xinjiang on a scale unseen in the country in decades".

As Alexander Lukin, director of the East Asian and the SCO Studies Center of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, the U.S. doesn't care about minorities - they use Muslim theme as an excuse to put more pressure on China.

Detainees in these political re-education camps have not been charged with any crime, have no access to lawyers or contact with relatives. Those who resist or are deemed to have failed to "learn" are punished, it said. "They may be subjected to solitary confinement, not be allowed to eat for a certain period, or required to stand for 24-hour periods, among other punishments", said HRW researcher Maya Wang.

Michelle Bachelet decried China's ongoing crackdown on the mostly Muslim Uighur minority in her first remarks as head of the United Nations rights watchdog in Geneva on Monday.

Bachelet called for a thorough investigation of the deaths of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and said that a pattern of abuses continues in the border region of Myanmar to this day.

China, via its foreign ministry, responded dismissively to the Human Rights Watch report on Monday (transcript in Chinese, transcript in English), and rebuked the United Nations human rights chief's requests on Tuesday (transcript in Chinese, transcript in English).

Officials from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said various reports from the region indicate that Muslims are "being treated as enemies of the state exclusively on the basis of their ethno-religious identity". The Uyghurs were forced to welcome officials into their homes, where they were subjected to "political education".

There are reports of China detaining up to 1 million Muslims in indoctrination camps in the region.

Human Rights Watch released the most detailed and comprehensive report yet of witness testimony from the re-education camps in Xinjiang, and the families and lives torn apart by arbitrary detentions and the police state: "Eradicating ideological viruses": China's campaign of repression against Xinjiang's Muslims.

The Chinese government has not yet commented on this particular report but has denied similar allegations of mistreatment in the past.

US weighs sanctions amid concern over China's Muslim crackdown