US lawmakers demand UN report on Uyghur rights ahead of China Olympics
WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday urged the United Nations human rights office to release its assessment of China’s policies in Xinjiang ahead of next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, which the U.S. government is boycotting at the level diplomacy for what he says is an ongoing genocide in the region.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet lamented that her office was unable to access the western region of China to investigate allegations of Uyghur rights abuses and other Muslim minority groups.
His office said in December it was finalizing a report on the situation in Xinjiang that it hoped to release in the coming weeks after lengthy talks with Chinese officials over a proposed visit yielded no progress.
Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. James McGovern, two Democrats who chair and co-chair respectively the US Congressional Executive Commission on China, wrote a public letter to Bachelet asking him to release the report before the “international spectacle” of the Games begins. from Beijing. February 4.
“Its release would send an important reminder that no country can escape international scrutiny for engaging in serious human rights abuses,” Merkley and McGovern said.
Bachelet’s office did not immediately respond to a question from Reuters asking when the report would be released.
Bachelet had been negotiating terms for a visit to Xinjiang since September 2018, as allegations emerged that around one million Uyghurs had been held in mass detention camps.
China denies wrongdoing in Xinjiang and says the camps are for job training and stemming religious extremism.
The United States and many of its allies, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan and Denmark, have said they will not send official diplomatic delegations to the Games to protest the record of China on rights.
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