Asia Briefs: UN calls on China to free Uighurs

UN calls on China to free Uighurs

GENEVA • United Nations human rights experts voiced concern yesterday over alleged Chinese political "re-education camps" for Muslim Uighurs, and called for the immediate release of those detained on the "pretext of countering terrorism".

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination cited estimates that "from tens of thousands to upwards of a million Uighurs" may be detained in the far western Xinjiang province.


US extends ban on travel to N. Korea

WASHINGTON • The US State Department will extend a ban on United States citizens' travel to North Korea through Aug 31 next year, according to a notice posted online yesterday.

Although the two countries are involved in talks intended to cool tensions between them, the State Department said it remains concerned about the threat of arrest and long-term detention of US nationals in North Korea. The notice of the year-long extension is due to be officially published in the Federal Register today.


China's navy chief to visit US

BEIJING • China's defence ministry said yesterday that navy chief Shen Jinlong plans to visit the United States next month, despite an escalating trade row that threatens to spill into other areas of tension between the two countries.

The announcement comes two months after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis visited Beijing. China said that visit yielded positive results, and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe has accepted an invitation to visit the US before the end of the year.


Jho Low hires lawyers with political ties

NEW YORK • Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, who is accused of looting billions from investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), has hired several politically connected lawyers in the United States to defend his interests in a sprawling US Justice Department investigation.

Low, who has been described in US court filings as the man who orchestrated the theft of more than US$4 billion (S$5.5 billion) from 1MDB, has retained former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and one of President Donald Trump's go-to law firms, Kasowitz Benson Torres, among others.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe