UN rights chief decries abuses in Xinjiang, arrests in Hong Kong

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has decried the reported arbitrary detentions and ill-treatment of Muslim Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang, as she also drew attention to the restrictions of basic civil and political freedoms in the country including Hong Kong.

Bachelet said that given reports about the use of arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, sexual violence and forced labour against Muslim Uighur minorities, there was a need for a thorough and independent assessment of the situation.

“Information that is in the public domain indicates the need for independent and comprehensive assessment of the human rights situation,” she said.

Bachelet said she hoped to clinch an agreement with Chinese officials about a visit to the country.

As early as June 2019, China’s ambassador to Geneva, Chen Xu, had said that Bachelet is welcome to visit Xinjiang. But the visit has yet to come through.

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