Security Secretary John Lee on Wednesday said counter-terrorism officials didn't visit any camps during a trip to Xinjiang last month to see how authorities in the region are tackling extremist threats, and they witnessed no human rights violations.
Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung raised the issue in Legco, amid global concerns that hundreds of thousands of Uighurs are being held in camps, with former detainees complaining of torture.
Lee said the officials from the Inter-departmental Counter-terrorism Unit wanted to know what Xinjiang has done to reduce the number of terrorist attacks, and they looked at police training centres and security checkpoints.
“We chose Xinjiang because indeed there were terrorist attacks causing injuries and fatalities in previous years. But then, in the last two years there had not been one terrorist attack. We would like to take reference from that,” he told lawmakers.
He said officials from the police, Immigration Department, Government Flying Service and prison service, didn't go into what Beijing calls "vocational skills training institutes".
"We must have a global view. We must not be selective in our exchanges," the secretary said, adding that officials didn’t see any measures that violate human rights during the Xinjiang visit.