China condemns U.S. arbitrary detention of migrants at UN session
A migrant from Honduras hugs his 1-year-old son at a shelter in Harlingen, Texas, U.S., March 22, 2021. /CFP

A migrant from Honduras hugs his 1-year-old son at a shelter in Harlingen, Texas, U.S., March 22, 2021. /CFP

China strongly condemned the long-standing issue of arbitrary detention of migrants by the United States at the 51st regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Vienna.

The U.S. detained more than 1.7 million immigrants in 2021, and up to 80 percent of them were held in private detention facilities, including 45,000 children, the Chinese representative said at an interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at the session.

The conditions of private detention facilities are poor, causing great harm to the physical and mental health of detainees, said the Chinese representative, adding that human rights violations are frequent there.

Taking the Fort Bliss refugee camp as an example, the Chinese representative said nearly 5,000 children live in "stocker-like" cramped, deplorable conditions that cause severe physical and mental trauma.

China urges the United States to face up to its human rights issues, stop arbitrary detention of migrants, refugees and other human rights violation activities, and provide relief and compensation to victims, said the Chinese representative.

The Chinese representative also spoke of the U.S. arbitrary detention of people without trial at Guantanamo for 20 years.

In January, UN experts condemned the facility as a site of "unparalleled notoriety" and said its continued operation was a stain on the U.S. government's commitment to the rule of law, urging the U.S. to close this ugly chapter of unrelenting human rights violations.

China is a country under the rule of law and firmly opposes arbitrary detention in law enforcement, said the Chinese representative, adding that the Chinese Constitution and various special laws have strict and specific provisions on this.

The Chinese representative also condemned the prominent double standards of the current UN human rights mechanism, saying that most of the negative information in the report submitted by the Working Group is directed at developing countries.

China hopes that the Working Group will perform its duties in an objective and fair manner, fully respect the materials provided by the countries concerned, respect the judicial sovereignty of each country, and abandon the practice of politicizing human rights issues, said the Chinese representative.

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