Beijing : China on Friday dismissed the UN human rights panel’s allegations of confinement of large number of Uyghur Muslims in indoctrination camps in the volatile Xinjiang province, saying they are based on unverified information.

The UN’s Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said on Thursday it was alarmed by “numerous reports of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities” being detained in Xinjiang region and called for their immediate release.

Estimates about them “range from tens of thousands to upwards of a million,” it had said.

Asked for her reaction, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China has informed the committee of China’s practices and policies to eliminate discrimination and racial discrimination.

The review by this committee acknowledged and recognised China’s progress and also spoke positively of China’s relevant policies, she said.

“You mentioned that during the review there were some negative comments on the situation in Xinjiang. These comments are based on information that is yet be verified. I don’t know if you have been to Xinjiang. Xinjiang enjoys stability. People of all ethnic groups live in harmony,” she said, adding that China’s policies are aimed at promoting economic development in Xinjiang.

“We will crack down on terrorism and separatist forces to ensure safety of people and property,” she said.

The situation in Xinjiang has been restive as the native Muslim Uyghurs have been resisting increasing settlements of Han Chinese from other provinces. China has blamed the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an Al Qaeda affiliate, for violence in the province.

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