Xinjiang in focus as UN rights chief arrives for China go to

Allegations of human rights abuses in China’s northwestern Xinjiang area are the dominant problem on a go to by the United Nations’ prime rights official that begins Monday.

Michelle Bachelet’s go to is the primary to China by a U.N. excessive commissioner for human rights since 2005, however rights teams warn it threatens to whitewash the ruling Communist Party abuses in Xinjiang.

China has locked up greater than one million members of its Uyghur, Kazakh and different Muslim minorities in what critics describe as a marketing campaign to obliterate their distinct cultural identities. China says it has nothing to cover and welcomes all these with out political bias to go to Xinjiang and think about what it describes as a profitable marketing campaign to revive order and ethnic cohesion.

Bachelet will start her six-day go to within the southern metropolis of Guangzhou earlier than touring to Kashgar and the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi. Details have been tightly held and China’s solely Communist Party-controlled media haven’t reported on her go to.

A key query is whether or not Bachelet can be allowed to go to the now-largely empty internment camps that China calls reeducation facilities and meet with figures imprisoned over requires better spiritual, political and cultural freedoms, reminiscent of Ilham Tohti, an economist and winner of the Sakharov Prize.

China has additionally been accused of utilizing pressured labor, coercive contraception and separating youngsters from their incarcerated dad and mom, and monitoring group The Dui Hua Foundation says fasting for Ramadan or promoting Islamic books has additionally been focused.

It’s additionally not clear whether or not Bachelet will have the ability to meet with officers who’ve led the crackdown in Xinjiang, together with former celebration secretary Chen Quanguo, now an official in Beijing.

Bachelet plans to talk with high-level nationwide and native officers, civil society organizations, enterprise representatives and lecturers, and ship a lecture to college students at Guangzhou University.

Rights teams have known as for extra info and accountability from China over its insurance policies in Tibet and Inner Mongolia that limit minority cultural rights. A crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong has additionally led the U.S. and others to sanction native and Chinese central authorities officers.

Amnesty International stated Bachelet should “address crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations” during her trip.

“Michelle Bachelet’s long-delayed visit to Xinjiang is a critical opportunity to address human rights violations in the region, but it will also be a running battle against Chinese government efforts to cover up the truth,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said in a statement.

“The U.N. must take steps to mitigate against this and resist being used to support blatant propaganda,” Callamard stated.

Bachelet’s journey comes forward of the long-awaited launch of a report on alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Almost 200 rights teams have urged Bachelet to launch her report, which diplomats have stated has been prepared — or very near it — for months.

The U.S. authorities has declared that Beijing’s insurance policies in opposition to the Uyghurs quantity to genocide and crimes in opposition to humanity. Legislatures in Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada have finished the identical.

China denies the allegations and maintains its insurance policies had been meant to deradicalize these influenced by jihadi propaganda following years of violent outbursts in opposition to Chinese rule within the area.

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