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Bachelet visit must guarantee full access to China’s Xinjiang – spokesperson

Randy Mancini 7 Jan 28
FIUILE PHOTO: UN High Commissioner Bachelet attends launch of joint investigation on Tigray region, in Geneva
FIUILE PHOTO: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends the launch of a joint investigation into alleged violations of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law committed by all parties to the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

January 28, 2022

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet is in talks with China for a possible visit in the first half of 2022, but it must be “meaningful, with unsupervised access” to the Xinjiang region, her spokesperson Rupert Colville told Reuters on Friday.

Earlier the South China Morning Post, citing unidentified sources, said that China had agreed that Bachelet can visit Xinjiang after the Beijing Olympics, but activists and a Western diplomat expressed doubt after years of stalled talks. [L1N2U80FX]

“It is important that such a visit be meaningful, with unsupervised access to a wide range of civil society actors and locations as well as high-level engagement with government officials. As the High Commissioner has said, meaningful, unfettered access to the Xinjiang region is crucial,” Colville told Reuters in an email reply.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)