China is committing “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uyghur’s Muslim minority in the western province of Xinjiang, the US State Department said in an annual report on human rights globally.
The report found that “genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang”.
The report further alleged human abuse crimes including imprisonment of more than one million civilians, forced sterilisation, rape, torture, forced labour and restrictions on freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of movement.
China has rejected accusations of abuses in Xinjiang by countries and human rights groups, though Western countries have increasingly spoken out against Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghurs and recently imposed several sanctions.
Furthermore, The State Department’s report also revealed that autocratic governments around the world have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to go after critics and repress freedoms.
The report by the State Department on human rights practices in more than 180 countries is required by the US Congress annually.