By The Financial District
Bachelet Ends Term As UN Rights Chief By Blasting China's Uyghur Genocide
The outgoing UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, has said that China had committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province which may amount to crimes against humanity, Julian Borger reported for The Guardian.
Photo Insert: Michelle Bachelet and Xi Jinping
Bachelet’s damning report was published with only 11 minutes to go before her term came to an end at midnight Geneva time.
Publication was delayed by the eleventh-hour delivery of an official Chinese response that contained names and pictures of individuals that had to be blacked out by the UN commissioner’s office for privacy and safety reasons, the Associated Press (AP), Reuters, and CNN also reported.
The Chinese government, which attempted until the last moment to stop the publication of the report, rejected it as an anti-China smear, while Uyghur human rights groups hailed it as a turning point in the international response to the program of mass incarceration.
The 45-page report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) concluded: “The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups, pursuant to law and policy, in context of restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”
Human rights organizations welcomed the report. Omer Kanat, the executive director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project pressure group said it was “a game-changer for the international response to the Uyghur crisis.”
He added: “Despite the Chinese government’s strenuous denials, the UN has now officially recognized that horrific crimes are occurring.” Over the past five years, China swept an estimated million Uyghurs and other minority groups into internment camps which it termed training centers.
Some of the centers have since been closed but there are still thought to be hundreds of thousands still incarcerated. In several hundred cases families had no idea about the fate of relatives who had been detained.
WEEKLY FEATURE : MVP Group Keeps Lights On During Pandemic