The UN on Friday labelled as “deeply disturbing” a report by a London panel of lawyers and rights experts accusing China of genocide against its Uyghur minority.
UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said the agency had not verified the findings presented in Britain on Thursday and did not comment on the conclusion that China had committed genocide through population control measures.
But he told reporters in Geneva that the informal panel, set up at the request of exile group the World Uyghur Congress, had “brought to light more information that is deeply disturbing in relation to the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang”.
He said credit was due to the “many victims or witnesses who took great risk in coming forward”, stressing that it was “extremely important therefore to give them full protection from any reprisals”.
Nine lawyers and human rights experts were involved in the London panel and heard allegations of torture, rape and inhumane treatment at two evidence sessions this year.
The tribunal, which has no powers of sanction or enforcement, concluded that China’s rulers “intended to destroy a significant part” of the Muslim Uyghur minority through population control measures and as such had “committed genocide”.
Beijing dismissed its findings, and said the World Uyghur Congress had “paid for liars, bought rumours and gave false testimony in an attempt to concoct a political tool to smear China”.