US remains ‘concerned’ after UN visit to Xinjiang

The United States on Saturday expressed “concern” about possible limits placed by Beijing on the visit to Xinjiang by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said the Secretary of State American Antony Blinken.

“The United States remains concerned about the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and her team to the People’s Republic of China and her efforts to restrict and manipulate this movement. »Antony Blinken said in a statement, adding that the conditions of this visit “did not allow a full and independent assessment of the human rights situation, including in Xinjiang”, in the east of the country. He said to himself “troubled by reports that residents of Xinjiang have been warned not to complain or speak openly about conditions in the region.”

This Chinese region has long been the scene of bloody attacks targeting civilians and committed, according to the authorities, by Uyghur separatists and Islamists – the main ethnic group in the region. Xinjiang has thus been the subject of draconian surveillance for several years. Western studies accuse Beijing of having interned more than a million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups in “re-education camps”or even to impose “forced labour” or “forced sterilizations”. The United States refers to a “genocide“. China denounces biased reports and talks about “vocational training centers” aimed at developing employment and eradicating extremism.

This is not “a survey”

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, describing her access as “fairly open, fairly transparent”. The Xinjiang government, she said, assured her that the network of “vocational training centers” had been “dismantled”. Michelle Bachelet said she visited one of these old centers.

Details of his visit have not been made public. The Chilean ex-president, in the name of the epidemic situation in China, was in a health bubble which kept her away from the foreign press. During an online press conference organized at the end of her stay in the country, Michelle Bachelet recalled that her visit, from which the foreign press was excluded, did not constitute “not an investigation”.

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