Switzerland concerned about the situation in Xinjiang, China )

Bern, 26.11.2019 - The FDFA is greatly concerned about the revelations in the documents published in the last few days about the internment of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. It calls on the Chinese government to address the concerns raised by many states and to allow the UN unhindered access to the region.

The FDFA has been monitoring the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region for some time. Ensuring compliance with the rights of minorities and freedom of opinion, the press and religion are a priority of Switzerland's human rights policy in China.

During the strategic dialogue between Switzerland and China on 22 October 2019, Federal Councillor and head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis expressed his concern about the situation in Xinjiang. Since 1991, Switzerland and China have conducted a regular human rights dialogue which addresses, among other issues, the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet.

Switzerland works in various multilateral forums to ensure compliance with human rights. During the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of China on 6 November 2018, Switzerland called on China to close down its detention camps in Xinjiang. Switzerland also called on China to grant the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights unrestricted access to Xinjiang and to allow an independent UN investigation of the detention camps.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs