Zumretay Arkin, Program and Advocacy Manager at the World Uyghur Congress, poses at a Uyghur photo exhibit of dozens of people who are reported missing in Chinese-run camps in Geneva, Switzerland or alleged to be held in Chinese-run camps in Xinjiang, China, September 16, 2021 in front of the United Nations in Xinjiang, China, on 16 September 2021. GENEVA, Sept. 16 - Reuters - A Uyghur photo exhibit of dozens of people who are missing or alleged to be held in China-backed camps in Xinjiang, Switzerland opened on Thursday amid high tensions over human rights between Beijing and Washington.
The Wall of the Disappeared which also features interviews with camp survivors about alleged forced sterilization stands outside the United Nations in Geneva where a month-long session of the Human Rights Council opened this week.
It was important for us to show faces to represent statistics, said Zumretay Arkin whose uncle is featured in the exhibit. It's easy to forget about numbers but if people see faces, we hope they will grasp the urgency of the situation. Rights groups estimate one million Uyghurs and other religious minorities have been interned in camps that China describes as their religious training centers to combat extremism.
The United States gave a funding assistance to the exhibit, which will further travel to Brussels and Berlin, told the World Uyghur Congress Reuters. Earlier this week, the U.S. mission in Geneva told it at a diplomatic reception, according to sources who attended.
We are committed to placing human rights at the center of our China policy, and will continue to highlight the grave human rights abuses we see the PRC committing across China, in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and elsewhere, a U.S. mission spokesperson said.
China said that the human rights situation in Xinjiang was pretty good The attempt of some forces to pursue their political agenda by slandering China are doomed to fail, a mission spokesperson added.
China urged other member states not to attend an event earlier this year on the repression of Uyghurs by Germany, the United States and Britain calling it an insult. Exchanges between China and the United States have become increasingly barbed at the 47-member Council in Geneva this year, with Washington seeking to regain a seat and Washington wanting Election to the forum which Trump resigned as the President. This week, China's envoy Jiang Duan accuses Washington of genocide against Native Americans and systemic racism in a sweeping speech.
There is a difference between countries that have committed immoral acts in the past and challenged to improve, and countries which are committing crimes against humanity in the present, " said the U.S. Envoy to Israel in response."
In her opening speech this week, Uyghur officials raised Xinjiang and lamented that efforts to gain access to investigate reports of serious violations against Muslim Uyghurs had not succeeded.