Germany represented the 39 U.N. countries that expressed “deep concerns” about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights violations, mainly in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

“We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong,” German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said on Oct. 6 on behalf of 39 countries at the general debate of the Third Committee, according to India’s Mahamedia. 

Along with Germany, the other countries, including the United States, Britain, France, and Canada, called on the CCP to allow immediate, meaningful, and unrestricted access to Xinjiang for independent observers.

The Xinjiang region is home to the Uighur ethnic minority, which follows the Muslim faith, and is therefore persecuted and concentrated in centers of forced labor, where they are subjected to various violations of their human rights. 

As for the city of Hong Kong, the CCP stripped it of autonomy and other rights it had internationally agreed to when Hong Kong was transferred from British rule in 1997. 

Heusgen also argued for the Uighurs to respect the “principle of non-refoulement,” which does not seem to apply in their case. The “principle of non-refoulement” guarantees that “no one should be returned to a country where they face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm,” according to the U.N.

“In view of our concern about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, we call on all countries to respect the principle of non-refoulement,” Heusgen added, according to the South China Morning Post. 

Heusgen also referred to the situation in Hong Kong, “We are deeply concerned about the elements of the national security law that allow certain cases to be transferred for prosecution to the Chinese mainland,” Heusgen said.

“We urge the relevant authorities to guarantee the rights that are protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Sino-British Joint Declaration, including the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly,” he added.

During the 45th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) held in Switzerland on Sept. 25, many Western countries criticized the CCP and called for the restoration of basic legal rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

“The crimes being committed by China [the CCP] in Xinjiang meet the definition of genocide as laid out in the U.N. genocide convention,” said Abdulxukur Abdurixit, a Uighur, on behalf of the European Union of Jewish Students, at this session.

“I call on this council to assign a special rapporteur to my region to present a clear set of evidence to the international committee to stop the genocide,” he added.

Similar international statements have been issued over the years against the CCP for its repeated human rights violations.

The violations mainly target racial minorities and believers of all religions, mainly practitioners of the ancient discipline of Falun Dafa or Falun Gong, which was condemned to extermination more than 21 years ago.