UN envoy Michelle Bachelet criticized for visiting Xinjiang, defending herself

The High Commissioner for Human Rights in the crosshairs of human rights organizations, the United States, and Uighurs living abroad.

On Saturday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in China said her visit was “not sonot an investigation“But he urged Beijing to stop the measures.”hypotheticalTargeting the Muslim minority of the Uyghurs.

During an online press conference organized at the end of her stay, Michelle Bachelet also confirmed that she “understandwho criticized him in recent days for not criticizing the Chinese government. The 70-year-old former Chilean president also claimed to have spoken withFranchiseTo the communist leaders of the current campaign in Xinjiang (Northwest) in the name of combating terrorism.

This huge Chinese territory has long been the scene of bloody attacks targeting civilians and perpetrated, according to the authorities, by Uyghur separatists and Islamists – the main ethnic group in the region. Xinjiang, where 26 million people live, has been under strict surveillance for several years.

Forced labor and genocide

Western studies accuse Beijing of having detained more than one million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups inre-education camps‘, or even impose’forced labor“or some”Forced sterilizationThe United States refers toGenocide“.

China condemns biased reports, talks about “Vocational Training CentersIt aims to develop employment and eradicate extremism. deny everythingForced sterilizationJust saying to implement the national policy to limit births.

Several human rights associations and diaspora members accuse Beijing of having caught in the web of its anti-terror campaign a certain number of people who did not commit any crime. According to them, Uyghurs could have been detained solely on the basis of supposed extremism, because of a very long beard, a suspicious trip abroad, or religious beliefs considered too advanced.

Chinese government propaganda maneuver

And so Michelle Bachelet called on China on Saturday to stop the measures.”arbitrary and randomof his anti-terror campaign in Xinjiang, while denouncing “violent extremism“.

The words were deemed too conciliatory by the World Uyghur Congress, a Germany-based organization of exiles that Beijing considers a separatist. “If the High Commissioner for Human Rights remains silent, it is because she has failed to perform her duties‘, criticized in a press release.Quitting smoking is the only meaningful thing she can do“. The human rights organization, Amnesty International, denounced the fact that Michelle Bachelet fell into”Chinese government propaganda maneuver can be expected“.

Chinese state media reported this week that it had praised China’s progress in human rights – statements that have not been denied or confirmed by UN services. In general, they covered his travels to a minimum, providing only very accurate reports on his meetings with President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Some Western countries, with ulterior motives, have made great efforts to disrupt and undermine the visit of the High Commissioner. Their scheme failedMa Zhaoxu, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, said Saturday evening.

First visit of its kind in 17 years

Amnesty International called on Michelle Bachelet to publish its report on Xinjiang as soon as possible, the publication of which was repeatedly delayed, but failed “It would be a betrayal of the victims and their familiesMany Uyghurs say they have no news of their imprisoned relatives.

This issue and others have been raised with the authorities“, reassured Michelle Bachelet, adding that she has”Raised many issuesThe High Commissioner has vigorously defended her stay, claiming that she and the people she wanted to meet in Xinjiang had access “without oversight” by the authorities. Michelle Bachelet says she met, among others, with members of civil society and the leader of the Chinese Communist Party in the region.

This was the first visit to China by a High Commissioner for Human Rights in 17 years. This comes after difficult negotiations between the United Nations and Beijing. Michelle Bachelet traveled to Xinjiang in the regional capital, Urumqi, and says she visited a prison in the city of Kashgar, where she saw prisoners in particular, and described her entry as “Fairly open and somewhat transparent“.

She said the Xinjiang government assured her that the network “Vocational Training Centers” It was “disassemble it“. Michelle Bachelet said that she visited one of these ancient centers. Details of his visit were not made public. The former Chilean president, in the name of the epidemiological situation in China, was in a health bubble that kept her away from the foreign press.

see also – Washington says it is “horrified” by revelations of its Uyghur crackdown

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