Bachelet denies pressure from Chinese officials over Xinjiang report

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, denied this Wednesday (20) having received a letter from the Chinese authorities asking it to refrain from publishing a report on alleged human rights violations against Uighur residents of the Xinjiang region.

“There is no letter from the Chinese authorities, no. The truth is that there is a letter from countries, just as there are letters from countries that ask me to publish it, there are letters from countries that ask me not to publish it, this is normal”, declared Bachelet at a press conference in Lima. .

The former president of Chile assured that her cabinet continues to work to update the report on Xinjiang to which it has committed and that it will be shared with the country in question before leaving office, following the customary practices.

Human rights organizations and, more discreetly, some States, severely criticized the conclusions offered by the UN High Commissioner after her trip to China at the end of May, considering that they were very lenient and that his visit will not allow a real assessment of the human rights of the Uighur minority, established in the western province of Xinjiang.

In recent years, at least 1 million Uighurs have been detained by the Chinese government in called re-education centers, accusations s which the authorities vigorously denied.

In 15 June, during a presentation at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Bachelet acknowledged that she was unable to speak to any detainees in re-education camps, but argued that on his visit to China he was able to raise troubling questions about rights to the country’s political leaders.

“I have not been able to speak with any Uighurs currently detained or their families, but, anticipating this, I found former detainees who are out of the country and families who have lost contact with their loved ones in that region”, she said then.

Bachelet also recalled that her office has been collecting information about the situation in Xinjiang remotely for a long time and on that basis will publish the long-awaited report on the human rights situation of the Uighurs, which was initially supposed to be released in December last year.

Bachelet denied last June that the decision to end his term in 31 of August has to do with this trip to the Asian country and assured that he had already communicated his decision to leave the post before going to China.

The UN High Commissioner made these statements during a press conference in Lima to take stock of his visit to Peru, where he met with authorities from the three branches of the State, as well as indigenous representatives, the private sector and civil society to analyze the situation of fundamental freedoms in the country.

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