UN Rights chief to visit China’s restive Xinjiang province; HRW says need to underscore justice for victims

Bachelet, during her China visit between 23-28 May, will “meet with a number of high-level officials at the national and local levels, civil society organizations, business representatives, academics, and deliver a lecture to students at Guangzhou University,” the statement released by her office said on Friday

May 21, 2022
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UN Rights chief to visit China’s restive Xinjiang province

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will embark on a rare six-day visit to China from Monday, her office confirmed and said the trip, which comes at the invitation of the Chinese government, will also include its restive western Xinjiang province.

This visit, the first by any UN Rights chief since 2005, will also be the first visit of Bachelet to China as Beijing faces allegations of severe and widespread rights violations, including the detention of over a million ethnic Uighur Muslims in so-called reeducation camps. The Chinese government denies these allegations.

Bachelet, during her China visit between 23-28 May, will “meet with a number of high-level officials at the national and local levels, civil society organizations, business representatives, academics, and deliver a lecture to students at Guangzhou University,” the statement released by her office said on Friday.

The visit will also include Guangzhou, Kashgar, and Urumqi districts in Xinjiang province.

In a separate statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW), on Friday said Bachelet in her upcoming visit should “highlight the need for justice for victims of violations and accountability for those responsible.”

The watchdog also added the terms of her visit have not been disclosed and the Chinese authorities have insisted that they would not allow any visitors other than a friendly visit for the purpose of dialogue.

“The Chinese government is committing human rights violations on a scope and scale unimaginable since the last time a high commissioner visited in 2005, partly because there is no fear of accountability,” Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch said.

“The high commissioner needs to work to end, not enable, that perception,” she added. Bachelet’s response to these worsening so far has been “relatively muted”, HRW alleged.
(SAM)

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