NEW YORK CITY, New York: A United Nations committee has urged China to release Uyghurs held in detention facilities in its Xinjiang region and provide victims with "remedies and reparation."
After a report from the UN's human rights chief in August, which said China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslims may constitute crimes against humanity, the committee's statement adds to the increasing pressure on Beijing.
Rights groups accuse China, a permanent member of the Security Council, of abuses against Uyghurs, a mainly Muslim ethnic minority in Xinjiang.
China denies any rights abuses, and its spokesperson at the diplomatic mission in Geneva, Liu Yuyin, said Beijing firmly opposes the UN committee's move.
It "smears and slanders China's human rights situation based on disinformation fabricated by Western countries and anti-China separatist forces," he said.
The 18-member committee, which monitors countries' compliance with a 1965 international convention on racial discrimination, said the "lack of improvement in the human rights situation in Xinjiang" spurred it to adopt the recommendations.
The document also called for China to ensure compliance with the convention, by "undertaking a full review of its legal framework governing national security, counter terrorism and minority rights in (Xinjiang)."