US Activists and Politicians Urge UN Publishes Human Rights Report in Xinjiang

Amid increasing pressure from human rights groups, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, will present an update on her efforts to assess the situation in Xinjiang at the 49th session of the Human Rights Council on March 7, her spokeswoman told VOA.

In recent weeks, human rights activists and US politicians have continued to pressure Bachelet to publish a human rights report in Xinjiang, an area in northwestern China, home to the minority Muslim Uighur community.

Many countries, especially Western countries including the US, as well as various human rights organizations accuse China of human rights violations, including by carrying out forced sterilization of Uighur women, torture, forced labor and detention of more than one million Uighurs and other Turkish groups in camps. internment camps in Xinjiang. The US government has described the human rights violations as acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet

The push for the report to be published comes after years of failing to negotiate the terms of a visit to Xinjiang to assess human rights conditions in the region.

In a video speech at the 49th UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on Monday (28/2), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “Xinjiang’s door is open and we welcome people from all countries to visit Xinjiang and interact there.”

He later denied the allegations of torture and said, “The so-called genocide, forced labor and religious repression are completely fabricated lies.”

China says the facilities in Xinjiang are just job training centres. He also said that Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang were aimed at fighting extremism, terrorism and separatism.

While discussions between Bachelet’s office and Beijing are ongoing, “the parameters of the visit should be such that the High Commissioner has meaningful and unfettered access, including unsupervised interviews with civil society,” a spokeswoman for the high commissioner, Loz Throssell, told VOA by email. [rd/lt]