Senin, 29 Maret 2021

UN negotiating with China on unfettered access to Xinjiang - ABC News

The United Nations is holding "serious negotiations" with China on gaining unfettered access to the Xinjiang region to verify reports that Muslim Uyghurs are being persecuted, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has said.

The treatment of the Uyghurs has been in the spotlight over many months.

Several countries, including Australia, have formally expressed concern over the Chinese government's treatment of the minority group.

Forced labour camps, physically and sexual abuses and other human rights violations have all been reported in recent months.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said last month that reports of arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, sexual violence and forced labour in Xinjiang necessitated a thorough and independent assessment.

Ms Bachelet said in February that talks on organising a visit had begun but no agreement had yet been reached.

Mr Guterres said in an interview shown by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) said that visitation was currently being negotiated with Chinese authorities.

"I hope that they will reach an agreement soon and that the human rights commissioner will be able to visit China without restrictions or limitations," he said on Sunday.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres addresses the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Antonio Guterres says negotiations between the UN and China are progressing.(

Reuters: Denis Balibouse, file


China said it welcomed Ms Bachelet visiting Xinjiang, but that the visit should not be used as a form of "political manipulation" to pressure China.

"The purpose of this visit should be to promote interaction and cooperation, and not to carry out so-called investigation on the presumption of guilt," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news briefing in Beijing on Monday.

China's sensitivity to criticism of its treatment of the Uyghur minority was underscored on Saturday when it announced targeted sanctions against two American religious-rights officials and a Canadian lawmaker who had denounced Beijing's treatment of them and other minorities.

Activists have expressed scepticism about the prospects for a meaningful visit with unfettered access in China.

The Chinese government denies any mistreatment and has said that people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and the Tibetan region enjoy wide-ranging freedoms.


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2021-03-29 09:59:11Z

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